Jack J. Kanski's Clinical Ophthalmoscopy a Systemic Approach fifth edition of 2003
Reviewed by Stephen Meynell

This new edition follows its predecessors - being a very heavy and large A4 book, two inches thick. This is no pocket edition! A PDA edition of Kanski would be very welcome.

The author Jack J. Kanski needs no introduction, having written many popular and standard texts for ophthalmologists, many of which are also used by optometrists. He is a master of lucid description and this book is no exception. He works at King Edward 7th Hospital in the pretty town of Windsor, home to the Royal family.

The book is encyclopedic. Its twenty sections covers general ocular disorders. both common and rare, finishing with a large section about ocular effects of systemic disease, some diagrams are from previous books. Those who know previous editions, will be pleased to see all their favourites, all amplified and now including new usefully large pictures and clinical pearl side bars. What is outstanding is the many coloured pictures of the eye diseases he is describing, often 6 to 7 per page. The depth of each topic is good although not exhaustive. Each disease topic has a short introduction, a list of different categories, its clinical features, differential diagnosis and finally management. For example, Brown's Syndrome is covered in a page - quite short - but does include six decent sized coloured photographs. The Glaucoma's however, command a whopping 85 pages and includes recent ideas. This is a lavish, lucid account of Glaucoma and includes how to analyze automatic field plotter print-outs.

There is nothing about contact lenses, therapeutic or otherwise. Refraction is not mentioned, although laser refractive surgery is briefly discussed.

As a one-stop eye-disease textbook this must beat them all! It is thoroughly recommended and is good value for its price (UK price £120 ) . A book-lover's book! It replaces so many other textbooks - it is like a whole library in one. No beginners book, although easy to read and a model of clarity. It is a pity that there is little mention of the various tests and techniques required in the diagnoses. Kanski aims at busy people who would like to check their facts quickly. It is an ideal reference for the busy practice. Would I buy it? Ah, that is another question. I enjoy my little library of text books which I have picked up over the years. There is everything there and all in small, handy sizes. I feel that in some ways, the internet has overtaken comprehensive textbooks - it is all on the internet these days : in-depth essays, pictures, diagnoses – and friends to chat things over with! Kanski's textbook would be nice to have to show the interested patient what their problem is.