Grayson's Diseases of the Cornea. Third Edition. By Robert C. Arffa, MD. St Louis, Mo: Mosby Year Book Publishers; 1991.
In the preface of the third edition of Grayson's Diseases of the Cornea, Dr Arifa states that he has "tried to maintain the features that I believe made Dr Grayson's book so popular: its readability, single authorship, clinical orientation, the quantity and quality of illustrations, and the use of tables."
Dr Arffa has devoted over 700 pages systematically covering the entire spectrum of corneal disease. He has wisely avoided the temptation to include a section on surgical procedures, thereby insuring that this edition will not become quickly outdated. By maintaining the criteria of single authorship, he has produced a uniformly consistent and excellent textbook which has more than met the stringent criteria set forth in the preface.
Although there is no perfect method of classifying corneal disease, he has done an outstanding job of dividing the material into 30 chapters. Beginning with an overview of anatomy, physiology, and examination, the text then proceeds systematically through congenital anomalies, infectious disease, ocular surface disorders, dystrophies, degenerations, systemic disorders (immunologic, endocrine, metabolic, dermatologie), toxic injuries, and, finally, tumors. All areas are expertly covered, with excellent support of high quality illustrations, extensive use of tables, and a lengthy bibliography. The material is presented in a clinically relevant and useful manner. Accordingly, it is a very valuable reference for medical students, ophthalmology residents, and practitioners alike who wish to use this book to pursue specific areas of interest. Because of single authorship, consistency of style, and readability, this is an excellent book for readers who wish to scan it "cover to cover."
The quantity and quality of the illustrations is improved over the two previous editions. The tables are used very effectively to amplify and clarify the text material. The tables in the Infectious Disease chapters are particularly excellent. I anticipate seeing many of these tables reproduced in lecture presentations at ophthalmic training programs.
In summary, this book ranks among the five best comprehensive corneal textbooks on the market. Because it deals only with corneal diseases and not surgical techniques, it is likely to remain current, as well as useful, for many years.