Diagnostic paediatric ultrasound (1st edn), by E. Beek and R. R. van Rijn (eds)
This book shows you what can be done with ultrasound. There are more images than I have the patience to count, which makes it very accessible to all the members of your team (i.e. sonographers and radiologists in training). Ultrasound is operator-dependent and you may choose not to use ultrasound to look for a vascular ring, but if you do …
Type of book It’s an atlas of paediatric US with accompanying text.
Content Some authors provide more detailed explanations and comparison with MRI (for example Ch. 3 on head US and hypoxic–ischaemic injury). Most of the 26 authors are European and the 18 chapters cover almost all of the body (including mediastinum and the great vessels but not cardiac US). Ultrasound video clips and images can be accessed on-line.
Strengths Imaging children is hugely rewarding — but it’s also hard work. Radiologists in training (who are more used to adults) can find scanning children a bit like being in a foreign country, and I believe it causes them real concern.
As a trainee, if you have just scanned a child and you’re not sure what you are looking at, there is a real chance that this book might help you work it out. What should trainees do if they aren’t sure what they are looking at — call a faculty member or work it out for themselves? I’m not sure I know the answer, but providing this resource as a bench-book might be a start.
As faculty, we try to stay up-to-date with everything, but it’s hard to do (when was the last time you saw a pancreatoblastoma or a pilomatrixoma?). Problem-solving with US is time-consuming, but coming up with the answer is hugely rewarding (rather than leaving it for MRI to solve). Problem-solving requires general knowledge and this book is full of it.
The video clips are a bonus, and special mention should go to Simon Robben for his beautifully annotated video clips of intestinal ultrasound (Ch. 11).
In a world where trainees would like to be able to access definitive reference material, I think the book challenges us (the wider paediatric radiology community) to create a collaborative on-line resource. I suspect the biggest challenge could be that we (faculty) may struggle to agree.
Weaknesses Unfortunately text and images can be several pages apart and it’s a distraction (type-setting a book of this complexity would probably have cost the editors another 2 years of their lives).
Some chapters are stronger than others (those chapters that bring in images from colleagues tend to be the strongest).
Discussion and text can be limited, perhaps wisely (the section on malrotation and volvulus doesn’t enter the debate “ultrasound or upper GI?”).
Recommendation It’s a great bench-book for practicing radiologists and trainees (and the sonographers like it too).
Overall grade Excellent