Andrew Horvai and Thomas Link Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology: A Volume in the High Yield Pathology Series Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia, PA, 2012. 480 Pages. Price £120.76 (Amazon) (hardcover). ISBN-10 1437725201, ISBN-13 978-1437725209


This is the first edition of ‘Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology’ a volume in the series ‘High Yield Pathology’ by Elsevier Saunders. The book is edited by Andrew E. Horvai and Thomas Link, with a total of 14 contributors.

The preface states that ‘The purpose of this textbook is to present the pathology of bone and soft tissue in a practical, focused and easily accessible format’. This is exactly what the book achieves. The book, which includes over 160 discrete disease entities, is divided into two halves; bone and then soft tissue diseases. Each half is composed of 16 and 14 chapters respectively. Both halves lead off with chapters on non-neoplastic disease, but obviously the bulk of the chapters focus on neoplastic disorders.

The neoplastic chapters are conveniently broken down into the tissue of differentiation, such as cartilage-forming tumours, bone-forming tumours, notochordal tumours and vascular tumours. Each individual disease entity is laid out on two or three pages, and is composed of easy to read, concise bulleted text under subheadings of ‘Diagnosis’, ‘Epidemiology’, ‘Presentation’, ‘Prognosis and treatment’, ‘Grading’, ‘Radiology’, ‘Gross pathology’, ‘Histology’, ‘Ancillary tests’ and finally ‘Main differential diagnosis’. The text is usually on a single page and the other one or two pages are composed of superb colour photographs of radiological features, macroscopic and microscopic images, immunohistochemistry images and some molecular pathology images.

The text is very easy to read and understand as it is bulleted, so there is no ‘waffle’ to wade through before getting to the pertinent points regarding any particular pathological disorder. This really does save time! The text is also very up-to-date, with the inclusion of very recent immunostains and molecular genetics. The images are numerous, beautiful and very well annotated.

One of the great things about this book is the inclusion of non-neoplastic disease processes, such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and fractures, entities that neuropathologists sometimes confront in the context of ‘degenerative spinal disease’. This is a useful addition as several other bone and soft tissue pathology books only include neoplastic disease.

Although less than 500 pages this text is surprisingly comprehensive. Obviously some of the chapters are a little briefer than in specialist textbooks, but in my opinion it is substantial enough for most neuropathologists.

The only real drawback that I have found is the fact that there are no references in the book. I appreciate that this text is for quick reviews of cases, but it would be nice to see from which studies some of their figures are derived.

The stated goal of this title is ‘… to help you review the key pathological features of bone and soft-tissue malformations, recognize the classic look of each disease, and quickly confirm your diagnosis’. In my opinion, the book accomplishes this goal in a very satisfying manner. The book also comes with online access to the complete text and image bank via the website. This book is priced at £120.76 through Amazon and I feel that this represents value for money. I would highly recommend this text to any neuropathologist looking for more information on bone and soft tissue pathology.