BOOK REVIEW: Whitcup and Nussenblatt's Uveitis 5th edition by Scott M Whitcup and H Nida Sen

Uveitis is a fascinating world but can be intimidating for the uninitiated. Outside anterior uveitis and scleritis, many uveitis diseases are uncommon and this is reflected by the limited number of uveitis subspecialists in ophthalmology. In agreement with the rarity of these diseases, few textbooks are dedicated to ocular inflammation and immunology. However, we are lucky to have very good ones, including Whitcup and Nussenblatt’s Uveitis Fundamentals and Clinical Practice.

 

Being already in possession of the last edition, I was pleased to hear there was a new version as the field of uveitis has evolved rapidly since the last one was published in 2010. This edition is the first without Robert Nussenblatt who sadly died in 2016. His associate Scott Whitcup, however, took the lead partnering with world-renowned uveitis specialists Drs Nida Sen and Alan Palestine for this fifth edition.

 

Updates include the chapter on medical therapy, which has been extensively overhauled by Dr Sen. This chapter is very well written and includes up to date information on the latest biologic agents and their effect on uveitis. The book has also been modernised with regard to the evolution of investigation modalities, including new diagnostic tests for certain infectious diseases and new knowledge about ophthalmic imaging relating to different uveitic conditions.

 

This fifth edition's 31 chapters are divided into five sections. These cover fundamental sciences (part 1), diagnosis (part 2) and treatment (part 3) of uveitis. The core of the book concentrates on all the different uveitic conditions and is separated into infectious (part 4) and non-infectious (part 5). Most uveitic conditions are covered in detail in these two parts, but some rarer pathologies are grouped in different chapters and are only discussed briefly. Very pertinently high-quality tables and figures are scattered throughout, and there is also a very practical electronic version available.

 

My only criticism is that, as a future uveitis specialist, I would have liked to have seen detailed chapters dedicated to each uveitis disease including reviews of studied treatments for all pathologies.

 

However, this book is a must-have for those with a particular interest in ocular inflammation and immunology, not just in optometry and ophthalmology but in rheumatology, infectious disease and other specialities where practitioners manage patients with inflammatory eye diseases.

 

Dr François Pepin is a French-Canadian ophthalmologist completing a one-year subspecialty in uveitis, working with the team at the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Auckland and Greenlane Clinical Centre.

 

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