Azar N, Donaldson CK. RadCases: Ultrasound Imaging. Thieme; 2015; 224 pp; 460 ill; $59.99
RadCases: Ultrasound Imaging by Nami Azar and Carolyn K. Donaldson was published by Thieme in 2015 and is part of the RadCases series edited by Jonathan Lorenz and Hector Ferral. This book fits in well with the RadCases series as a case-based review of ultrasound cases, which includes common and unusual diseases and demonstrates how they appear on ultrasound, with supplemental cross-sectional images in some cases. The hardcover includes 100 cases plus a scratch-off code that allows the purchaser to access all 100 cases and an additional 150 cases online for 1 year.
Cases are presented in a random fashion with respect to topic, just as cases may be read in practice. Thus, a gallbladder case may be followed by a thyroid case, then a kidney case, and then a scrotal case. One drawback to this format is that it hinders focused studying of 1 topic area at a time. A benefit is that it is a more realistic format and facilitates the presentation of each case as an unknown. Each case begins with 1 or more ultrasound images and a brief clinical presentation. Further workup images and sometimes cross-sectional images are shown on the same page. When the page is turned, the second page summarizes the imaging findings with an annotated description. A differential diagnosis is given with the correct disease in bold print. A brief section on essential facts and pearls and pitfalls follows. Each of these sections is written in brief bullet points.
The cases are a nice mix of complex and basic cases. Topics are reviewed succinctly but effectively. Image quality is very good and the images are practical, reflecting what might be encountered in clinical practice. There is a nice mix of abdominal, GYN, thyroid, and scrotal cases, with a few other topics thrown in sporadically. A few cases show color Doppler and spectral waveforms, but these are not the focus.
This book is a fine resource for residents and fellows training in ultrasound imaging. It provides a nice review of ultrasound imaging findings that would help a radiologist who has not been responsible for ultrasound to quickly review important cases, especially if they were to resume interpreting ultrasounds. It is not an exhaustive review of ultrasound and is not meant to be. Overall, the book is a quick and enjoyable read, especially if the cases are taken as unknowns and some effort is made to figure out the case before checking the answer. Even if you are an experienced ultrasound reader, do not be surprised if you get a few wrong and learn something new.