Color Atlas of Vascular Tumors and Vascular Malformations By Odile Enjolras, Michel Wassef, and René Chapot. Pp. 299. Cambridge University Press, New York, N.Y., 2007. Price: $160.
The word atlas (a collection of maps) is believed to derive from a long-lost depiction of Atlas supporting the world. The title is à propos, as this book portrays the salient features of most lesions on the broad landscape of cutaneous vascular anomalies. The authors, a dermatologist, pathologist, and radiologist from France, are recognized experts.
Written in English, the atlas is hardbound, slender, and standard notebook size. The thick, glossy pages are typeset in easy-to-read 12-point Minion. The lavish and brightly colored photographs are visually appealing. It is obvious that vascular anomalies, which are quite different in behavior, look alike in varied hues of blue, pink, and red. The words once used for the various lesions have caused further obfuscation. Now, the cloud of terminologic confusion has lifted. The chapters adhere to the classification that has the imprimatur of the International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies. Each section begins with several pages of succinct text that summarizes the particular category of vascular anomaly. Next is a series of photomicrographs. They are vivid, clear, and instructive. This sequence helps the reader recall the histological features when viewing the clinical cases. The authors picked the crème de la crème of images, several borrowed from Parisian colleagues and a few from centers on other continents. Radiologic illustrations (magnetic resonance imaging sequences and some computed tomographic and sonographic images) are interspersed adjacent to the patient photographs. This juxtaposition permits the reader to correlate clinical features and radiologic findings without having to turn back and forth to a separate radiologic chapter.
Current and selected references are used sparingly. Several tables are scattered throughout as an aide-memoire. For example, there are tables on clinical and histopathologic comparisons between infantile hemangioma and congenital hemangiomas, neurologic risks associated with craniofacial vascular anomalies, clinical differences between Klippel-Trenaunay and Parkes Weber syndromes (two often-confused, combined vascular malformations in the limb), and hematologic differentiation between Kasabach-Merritt phenomenon and localized intravascular coagulopathy.
This atlas is a pictorial delight and de rigueur for anyone who wants to be au courant in the field. For the dilettante, it offers a concise summary of what is known about common infantile hemangioma, other uncommon vascular tumors, and the major vascular malformations. For the spécialiste, it provides a quick review and a number of clinical pearls. I suggest reading just a few pages at a sitting with a highlighter in hand. C’est magnifique!
John B. Mulliken, M.D.
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