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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease

edited by A. J. Zuckerman. xix + 1,193 pages, illustrated (some color), index. Allen R. Liss, Inc., 41 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003. 1988. $350.00

Franz von LichtenbergDepartment of Pathology, Brigham Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

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Excitement never ceases in hepatitis research. This up-to-date Symposium ended on May 28 of this year; it was published by the end of June and, already, a letter has appeared in Nature claiming the identification of an RNA (Toga?) virus, as the cause of parenteral non-A, non-B hepatitis; obviously, this reviewer must himself hurry to avoid obsolescence.

Suffice it to say that this page-heavy compendium is the nearest thing to a state-of-the-art summary on hepatitis barring consultation by telephone. It deals with hepatitis A (130 pp); enteric non-A, non-B hepatitis (24 pp); hepatitis B (86 pp); delta virus (55 pp); parenteral non-A, non-B hepatitis (59 pp); and animal hepadna viruses (83 pp), plus long chapters on general aspects, new diagnostic techniques, immunology, hepatocellular carcinoma, treatment, liver transplantation, and hepatitis B vaccines; that final chapter includes reports of the major working groups engaged in human trials and vaccine development, and should be particularly helpful to practitioners or public health specialists concerned with hepatitis prevention.