To the English edition

Musculoskeletal ultrasound has established itself as a highly versatile and precise imaging tool. In the beginning only a few enthusiasts sporadically applied ultrasound to musculoskeletal disorders, and it is only relatively recently that evidence has been gathered as to how valuable the technique can be in reliably making an accurate diagnosis. The continued development and application of new techniques that improve spatial soft tissue resolution will undoubtedly increase its future role. It is therefore timely and indeed very welcome that the distinguished Editors of this book have put together the state-of-the-art knowledge on the application of ultrasound in rheumatology. The authors are highly respected and cover the global extent of the field bringing the reader up to date by discussing and analysing the various rheumatological pathological conditions.

The design of this work is very practical and reader-friendly. It is presented in a format which shows a great deal of editorial forward planning and execution. Technological issues and procedure principles are presented with the liberal use of illustrations whereby the reader pictorially knows immediately where and how the probe is placed on the area of interest, and is able to quickly correlate this with the expected sonographic appearances which are also anatomically well depicted in an atlas format. This section is designed for ease and quick reference as and when it is required. A normal anatomy section follows which is beautifully presented in a structured manner, and the same presentation structure is then used with some modification for the following section dealing with the sonograph ic features in pathological states. This section is without doubt outstanding living up to and clearly delivering the sonographic "doctrine of signs" (semeiotics). The illustrations are of the highest order all throughout leaving no ambiguity whatsoever. Where necessary and as if to show how far musculoskeletal ultrasound has come of age, correlation with MR images of the same patient and condition are provided. Having dealt with the pathological sonographic appearances of the various musculoskeletal tissues, the reader is then invited to a discussion on the application ofultrasound to the specific rheumatological conditions. The authors fairly define without bias the strength and weaknesses of ultrasound compared with other imaging modalities (predominantly MR imaging) as well as the value of colour and power Doppler techniques including the use of sonographic contrast agents. The last two sections although relatively short, outline the role of sonography in the therapeutic management of the diagnosed rheumatological conditions, both in monitoring the effects of therapy as well as a guide to the local administration of injection therapy. On the one hand this book effortlessly presents a "how to do it" approach, while at the same time it delivers the evidence and advanced knowledge base of the relevant recent research concerning musculoskeletal ultrasound in rheumatology. It is therefore suitable to a wide audience from the novice embarking on providing a musculoskeletal ultrasound service, to the experienced musculoskeletal radiologist who wishes to add musculoskeletal ultrasound to his/her armamentarium.

Prof.Victor Cassar-Pullicino Consultant Radiologist The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital

Oswestry, United Kingdom

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