July 2, 2008

Theory and Practice of Histological Techniques, 6th Edition

By Jensen, Kristin

Theory and Practice of Histological Techniques, 6th Edition John D. Bancroft and Marilyn Gamble, editors Churchill Livingstone Elsevier Philadelphia, PA. Copyright (c) 2008 725 pages, $219.00, Hardcover This comprehensive text on histological methods is a well- organized, concise yet thorough reference designed for students of histology but suitable for a wide range of technicians and scientists in clinical and experimental settings. The authors focus on preserving methodology of older, more basic techniques while introducing increasing numbers of newer, technologically advanced, sometimes experimental techniques. Histochemical and other staining techniques are outlined in sufficient but succinct detail, with notes on expected staining patterns and suggestions for solving common staining problems.

The text uses clear and consistent subheadings, featuring an attractive color scheme and generously sized font that facilitates the reading of detailed chemical protocols. The book is loosely divided into background chapters (including chapters on general laboratory management and safety, light microscopy, tissue fixation and processing, and theoretical staining considerations), chapters on specific cellular constituents or tissues (including chapters on carbohydrates, lipids, pigments, micro-organisms, connective tissues, and bone), and chapters on more modern/experimental techniques (including chapters on immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, tissue microarray, molecular pathology, electron microscopy, and laser microdissection). Of special interest to this journal's readership are dedicated chapters on techniques in neuropathology and enzyme histochemistry, both of which are extensive and well written. Particularly useful throughout many chapters are summary tables of suggested solutions to commonly encountered problems in the laboratory. A series of helpful appendices on solution preparation, buffers, and chemical solubility is available, and the text includes an index to staining methods as well as a general subject index, both of which are quite complete. References are extensive but not overwhelming.

The text features a consistently cogent discussion of theory followed by practical considerations and suggestions. The overwhelming majority of images, many of which are produced in full color, are of excellent quality, and all diagrams, figures, schematics, and chemical structures are nicely drawn, well placed, and easily interpretable.

In summary, this book makes an outstanding, compact, quick reference that is appropriate above the bench of both routine clinical laboratories and experimental facilities.

Kristin Jensen, MD

Stanford University Hospital and Veterans

Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System

Palo Alto, California

Copyright Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Jun 2008

(c) 2008 Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.