Ed by RG Cameron, G Feuer, FA de la Iglesia, 681 pp, ISBN 3 540 60201 1, Berlin: Springer Verlag 1996
The editors of this splendid volume have invited an international array of contributors to cover its 26 chapters on all aspects of hepatotoxicity due to drugs — adverse effects that mimic acute fulminant hepatitis, chronic active hepatitis, cirrhosis and even malignancy. Turn to one of these chapters for an update on molecular aspects of hepatic drug reactions, in vitro models, cytochrome P450, drug-induced cholestasis, choline deficiency, the fatty liver, immune mechanisms, encephalopathy, pregnancy, Reye syndrome, or hepatotoxicity in infants and the elderly; and, of course, for separate information on each individual drug, including one of the most important, alcohol.
This new Canadian text naturally invites comparison with an Australian text, Drug-induced Liver Disease, edited by GC Farrell (Churchill Livingstone), published in 1994. They are both very good and equally helpful when asked to solve a laboratory or clinical problem. Australian Ian Mackay contributes the immune mechanisms of drug hepatotoxicity in both books. To his credit they are in many respects different. In the earlier book he mentions the Th1 and Th2 subclasses of CD4 helper T cells. In the new Canadian book he advances his thoughts and forecasts that tipping towards Th1 or Th2 subsets influences the mode of expression of allergies and autoimmune diseases.
Both books will undoubtedly achieve new editions, so that each will leapfrog the other effectively in different segments of the Commonwealth in the long-term future. It is true to say that clinicians and pathologists have combined admirably to cover the whole gamut of adverse reactions in a single volume which is authoritative, academic and readable.