- Drew A. Torigian, MD, MA, Drew A. Torigian, MD, MA, Department of Radiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
- Mary Kitazono, Mary T. Kitazono, MD, Department of Radiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
This relatively small book (285 pages) pulls together all of the recent advances in the science of bilirubin and the prevention of bilirubin encephalopathy in neonates. Edited by three of the foremost authorities on this topic and written by 24 worldwide experts, the book presents in very readable fashion the most up-to-date science and clinical aspects of neonatal jaundice.
It is intended for both clinicians and investigators as a basis for present day treatment and a stimulus for further investigation. While jaundice is perhaps the most common symptom in neonates, the syndrome of bilirubin neurotoxicity is relatively rare, affecting 1:50,000 to 1 in 200,000 newborns each year. Recent guidelines and reviews as well as alerts from healthcare organizations have focused attention on this problem as potentially preventable. However, not since 1980, when Dr. O’Dell published a book on neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, has this type of comprehensive review been available. The authors have certainly met their objectives in creating this essential reference.
The audience includes any healthcare providers who treat newborns or who are interested in the science of bilirubin. The writing is clear and concise and the illustrations and tables, many in color, are easy to understand and complement the text. The editors are internationally known experts in this field and the international group of contributors have similar qualifications.
The 13 chapters review the science of bilirubin (genetics, biochemistry, transport, and metabolism) and then the clinical aspects of jaundice management including epidemiology, public policy, phototherapy, and other treatments. An excellent review of the biochemistry of bilirubin toxicity is complemented by a full chapter on kernicterus. The easy-to-read text is complemented by some wonderful color drawings and photomicrographs. I could find no serious omissions from this comprehensive review.
Although every general neonatal textbook has a chapter on hyperbilirubinemia and there have been several comprehensive reviews in major journals over the last decade, there has not been a complete review of this type for over 30 years. This book is strongly recommended to all healthcare providers who care for neonates.