This second edition of Laboratory Diagnostic Procedures in the Rheumatic Diseases is of particular value to the rheumatologist and immunologist who are concerned with laboratory procedures. Even those outside this field of specialty could benefit by reading this book. For example, it helps one understand the complicated problem that exists in the assay of the various components of the complement system.
The chapter on synovial fluid is a good description of the technique of analyzing joint fluid, and includes a discussion of the importance and usefulness of looking for crystals in joint fluid. This point deserves particular emphasis in clinical practice because the certainty of the diagnosis can be established by crystal identification.
The book also includes a review of the various techniques for measuring acute phase reactants and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. The Westergren method is described as being the most precise and reliable, and it is emphasized that