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Clinical Tests of Oesophageal Function

Arch Surg. 1976;111(8):929. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1976.01360260097030.
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In this 383-page monograph on the esophagus, Richard Earlam, in an orderly fashion, explains first the physiologic determinants of normal esophageal function and then how derangements produce the symptoms associated with various esophageal disorders.

His use of whimsical historical detail provides a perspective not often seen in modern texts. He also includes relatively lucid embryologic discussions, where relevant, and detailed explanations of the role of hormones on esophageal function. The chapters are well organized, and the free use of subtitles helps the reader find the material he is most interested in. The index seems complete. Each chapter has numerous references to primary source material.

However, there is much that is irrelevant, or rather, inappropriately emphasized in a text that is entitled Clinical Tests of Oesophageal Function. For example, the long chapter on gastrointestinal hormones could be abbreviated by limiting the discussion to hormonal aspects of esophageal function. Moreover, the sixth


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