Twenty-seven years of meticulous study went into the second edition of this exhaustive encyclopedia pancreatica. Its thoroughness reflects the editors' sustained interest in the subject and their clout, which was strong enough to wring completely new chapters on every aspect of pancreatic disease from international surgical experts.
After the introductory section on history, anatomy, and embryology, there is an important 100-page section on diagnostic laboratory and imaging techniques, which have so significantly altered the management of pancreatic disease during the past ten years. The performance characteristics of each diagnostic procedure are quantitatively analyzed, not merely described and illustrated. This is, of course, the wave of the future. The enthusiast authors are not allowed simply to quote their own statistics but are required to confirm their conclusions with the data of others presented in tabular form in most chapters.
The 200-page section on acute pancreatitis is a monograph in itself. The