William H. Daughaday, editor. ENDOCRINE CONTROL OF GROWTH New York: Elsevier North Holland, 1981, 275pp., $34.95
In the past, physicians gave little thought to growth disorders. They were pressured by more urgent health problems and hampered by a lack of knowledge of, and therapeutic agents for, the treatment of such conditions. In contrast, in recent years scientists from many disciplines have directed their attention to the growth process. Advances have appeared with rapidity and have been published in a diversity of journals; keeping abreast with the current information is difficult, even for those actively engaged in the study of growth disturbances. Thus, it is appropriate that the results of these many studies be reviewed, placed in perspective, summarized, and made available in a single volume. The authors of this book should be commended for their efforts, inasmuch as they have fulfilled their objective of characterizing the state of the art in the hormonal control of growth.
Pediatricians will find this book of great value. Not only have the authors presented their respective subjects with thoroughness, the format of the presentations enables quick review of specific topics. A busy pediatrician can quickly and easily find answers to questions posed by the parents of their patients who present growth problems or by patients themselves. The pediatrician with a serious interest in growth may find the reviews somewhat brief, but the extensive bibliographies, provided at the end of each chapter, more than compensate for the brevity. Even though the section on acromegaly will not be of practical benefit to pediatricians, it is appropriate for pediatricians to be aware of the importance of problems of excess growth hormone. in adults.
Although it cannot be considered a criticism, this reviewer is of the opinion that inclusion of an additional chapter outlining those conditions associated with altered growth patterns not known to be related to hormonal changes would have helped to rectify the common misconception that all deviant patterns of growth can now be corrected.
This book is indispensable for pediatrie endocrinologists. It will be useful for all pediatricians since they are expected to know about and to answer questions about growth disorders even though they may not be directly responsible for the management of such problems.