Textbook of Neuroanesthesia and Critical Care. 

Edited by Basil F. Matta, David K. Menon, John M. Turner. Greenwich Medical Media, London, 2000. Pages: 448. Price: $119.00.

A “TEXTBOOK” usually implies a classic; an authority; an enormous, systematic, organized tract of information, which of course takes a lot of effort to just read over. This book, Textbook of Neuroanesthesia and Critical Care  edited by Matta et al. , is traditional, but has a different approach. The book consists of five sections, from basic science such as anatomy, neurophysiology, and neuropharmacology, to clinical application, such as clinical neuromonitoring and anesthesia management. Each section contains a varying number of chapters, depending on the context. This book did cover most neuroanesthesia subjects.

In each chapter, the authors start with a content list, and then follow this with text describing the basic concepts and applications of the subject matter. I was impressed with the authors skillful, yet simple, descriptions of the complicated issues involved in basic science, clinical anesthesia, and intensive care. The book emphasizes key issues that have significant clinical relevance. There is a summary at the end of each chapter. Furthermore, each chapter has less than 10 pages, which surely makes the reading more efficient. I am sure that most readers will find this a more readable book than most neuroanesthesia books. There are many tables, figures, and diagrams throughout this book; these excellent illustrations certainly increase the book's value, by making complicated issues simple and easy to understand. Finally, this book updates the most advanced knowledge and techniques in neuroanesthesia and intensive care, and contains a more complete reference list. There are no specific references for repeated topics within the book; this is probably editing-related and is only a minor problem, however, on the other hand, this book would not serve as a good reference book for some specific and detailed clinical anesthesia applications. At the cost of $119.00, it is less expensive to purchase a textbook that has a complete context of neuroanesthesia. I would recommend this book to residents, CRNAs, and medical students who are interested in neuroanesthesia–it is an excellent introductory textbook.