This work is almost overwhelming because the three volumes together number 2378 pages. The release date of this fifth edition was in 2013. Volume 1 Part 1 is Retinal Imaging and Diagnostics edited by SriniVas R. Sadda, whereas Part 2 is Basic Science and Translation to Therapy edited by David R. Hinton. Magnificent photos and studies enhance the text. Volume 2 is Medical Retina edited by Andrew P. Schachat and SriniVas R. Sadda. Again, very appropriate photos, studies, and tables accompany the text. Volume 3 Part 1 is Surgical Retina edited by C.P. Wilkinson and Peter Wiedemann, whereas Part 2 is Tumors of the Retina, Choroid, and Vitreous edited by Andrew P. Schachat. Volume 3 is, likewise, nicely rendered. Referencing throughout all volumes is quite extensive and as up-to-date as possible. The work is supplemented by an online version that is very easy to access. The text is provided with a very specific code on the inside cover to allow online registration. Once registered, the doctor can access the text from any appropriate device. When online, the book is presented with an index revealing both text and photos. The photos are very high quality. The online versions of the photographs are thumbnails that can be enlarged with a double-click pop-up. The only aspect of the atlas that could be more comprehensive would be more representation of SDOCT, which is becoming ubiquitous in the eye care community. The videos accessible online are just superb. Production is beyond what this reviewer expected.
The atlas is well organized into appropriate categories. There are an amazing 158 chapters. The difficulty is that there are 158 chapters. Although nothing is ever perfect, this text is all-inclusive. This is a reference text, with the online access as a major attraction for any doctor. This text should be in every eye care educational institution in the country, with Internet access available to all interns, residents, and faculty.
Dr. Ryan and his contributors have created a tremendous asset for eye doctors worldwide. Unfortunately, this venue of education is subject to criticism as the evolution of diagnosis and management is running at warp speed. By the time the text is published, changes in management have occurred. An example of that would be the evolution of diagnostic imaging that is not accurately represented in this work. While I congratulate the authors for their dedication and hard work, the epoch of printed matter is being eclipsed by the technology now available. The strength of this text is the online version. The busy practitioner can easily log on during patient care to access a differential diagnosis. If you have to buy the printed text to make the online text happen, it is worth it.
[Editor’s note: Sadly, Dr. Stephen Ryan passed away in May 2013. He was recognized a giant among eye care clinicians and researchers].
Larry J. Alexander