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Book Reviews

Mechanics of Breathing: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Treatment

Dries, David J. MD, Reviewer

Section Editor(s): Dries, David J. Book Review Editor

Author Information
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Mechanics of Breathing: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Treatment Editors: Andrea Aliverti; Vito Brusasco; Peter T. Macklem; Antonio Pedotti Bibliographic Data: Springer-Verlag, 2002. ISBN: 8-8470-0175-7, 371 pp, hard cover, $79.95.

Reviewer's Expert Opinion:


This monograph describes the classic teaching and updates our knowledge on the physiology of respiratory muscle and airway activity. These findings are applied to common clinical problems.


Presented is a state-of-the-art description of normal and abnormal respiratory system performance from the viewpoint of airway, lung, and chest wall mechanics.


Fellows, researchers in respiratory muscle performance, and critical care clinicians are an appropriate audience for this work. Contributors include an international group of authorities with a long-standing record of publication on basic and applied pulmonary physiology.


In 31 chapters, the basic physiology is reviewed first followed by a compendium of methods for assessment of respiratory function. Two later groups of chapters, comprising approximately half of the work, discuss the pathophysiology of common disease states including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Final chapters describe clinical issues related to the management of mechanical ventilation. Chapters are well written but not easy to read. Illustrations including color reproductions are frequently used to good effect. Each chapter includes a reference list of original work dating to within one to two years of publication. The table of contents groups chapters under broad headings and provides evidence of authorship. Only a brief subject index is provided.


This is a review from the experts covering recent thinking and classic teaching on airway and muscle physiology. It is a worthy addition to the bookshelf of the serious practitioner in respiratory critical care. I was surprised at the lack of discussion on weaning from mechanical ventilation, a major clinical problem. Physiology and monitoring are strengths in this book.

©2003The Shock Society