R.R. Misra, M.C. Uthappa, N. Power, A. Mehta, O. Chan. City, ST: Greenwich Medical Media Limited; 2001. Price $39.95, 280 pages.
This softcover handbook is intended to help its readers prepare for the Part I Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR) Film-Viewing Examination. The examination consists of five workstations, each with four films. The workstations are Plain Films, Contrast Studies, CT/Mammography, Ultrasound/Nuclear Medicine, and Angiography/MR Imaging.
The format of the book is simple, well organized, and easy to use. There are a total of 10 examinations, each consisting of 20 case-based pictures with questions and short answers. The questions address identification of anatomic structures, description of the studies, image quality, rates/dosages, identification of variants, and expected norms in size/caliber. The questions and answers are focused and succinct.
The overall quality of the examination images is very good, although plain films, such as sinuses, skull, and extremities, seemed over-contrasted and less sharp in detail. Angiograms, CT scans, and most MR images are of surprisingly high quality and definition for a non-hardcover text. Images are well labeled in reference to the questions and do not obscure findings.
Regarding content, angiography is well covered for a basic text, but there is limited coverage of ultrasonography and nuclear medicine by comparison with the number of studies. No mammographic images are included in this book. Also, fairly uncommon contrast studies, such as sialograms, dactylograms, bronchograms, vasograms, and lymphangiograms are shown but are rarely performed or seen by entry-level radiology residents. There are less frequent presentations of more commonly performed contrast studies, such as barium enema and small bowel series. Additionally, the examinations lack commonly performed newer studies, such as CT angiography of the pulmonary arteries and aorta, and have limited MR angiography. Testing concerning variant anatomy and pediatric cases could be more numerous to provide a more general collection of basic cases and questions. Additionally, the examinations might have been more effective as a study guide had they progressed in level of difficulty.
Overall, based on its relatively low cost, the book’s value, in terms of quality and preparation, achieves its objective in providing a quick study and learning tool for entry-level residents. Although the book has minor deficiencies in imaging, the image quality is good in general and is surprisingly high in certain areas. One of the book’s major strong points is its user-friendliness. The layout is simply constructed, and the text is concise. In comparison with similar study tools, I find the book to be a quality resource for its targeted audience.
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