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Manual of Pain Management, 2nd Edition

Schmidt, Steffen, MD

doi: 10.1097/00000539-200212000-00091

Benjamin Franklin Medical Center

Berlin, Germany

Manual of Pain Management, 2nd Edition C.A. Warfield and H.J. Fausett, eds.

Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2002. ISBN 7817-2313-2. 407 pp., $59.95

The second edition of the Manual of Pain Management is intended for use as a quick reference guide for clinicians.

The multiauthored paperback contains four parts. The first part, Understanding Pain, does not meet its promise completely. The disadvantages of a multiauthored text appear: beside a section on basic pathophysiology of pain, some sections deal with rather isolated very specific topics (Endogenous Opioids, Neurotransmitters). The reader who is not familiar with the pathophysiology of pain may have difficulty selecting the important basics.

The second part, Pain by Anatomic Location, is intended to facilitate the differential diagnosis of pain. Each section deals with a specific anatomic region (e.g., Ear Pain, Eye Pain) or a specific organ (e.g., Pancreatic Pain). Most of the 16 sections begin with a short anatomic introduction, followed by a listing of pain syndromes specific for the region or organ. Tables for a quick orientation are not used extensively; a grading of frequent and rare pain syndromes is achieved in some sections only.

The third part, Common Painful Syndromes, has some excellent sections that fulfill the intentions of the authors. Various pain syndromes, diagnostic procedures, and treatment options are well presented concisely. Unfortunately, some common pain syndromes are missing (e.g., migraine, tension headache, nonspecific low back pain). If intended as a quick reference guide for the busy clinician, inclusion of flow charts would be quite beneficial.

In the fourth part, Pain Management, various pharmaceutical, invasive, physical, and psychological treatment options are described. Most sections provide a good synopsis on the particular treatment option.

In summary, most of the common pain syndromes are presented in a concise way, but unfortunately the goals of the authors are not completely met. The anesthesia resident or busy clinician can use this book only in parts as a quick reference guide. An accentuation of practical aspects would be of value for further editions.

© 2002 International Anesthesia Research Society