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Abdominal Ultrasound: Principles and Techniques.
  1. Thomas Carrigan
  1. Specialist Registrar in Accident and Emergency, Leeds

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    CD-ROM written by Mark Deutchman, Associate Professor of Family Medicine, University of Colorado, Denver. Published by SilverPlatter Education Inc, Newton, Massachusetts, 1997. ISBN 1-57276-031-1. Hardware requirements: Multimedia PC with Microsoft Windows (8 MB RAM) or Windows 95 (16 MB RAM) or Macintosh (System 7.0 or later with 8 MB RAM). Details available from: SilverPlatter Education Inc. 246 Walnut Street, Suite 302, Newton, MA 02460-1639, USA (tel: +1 800 521 0574/+1 617 244 0284).

    The trend towards emergency abdominal ultrasound is filtering across the Atlantic. Observational studies have been made to study the impact and effectiveness of such imaging in the emergency department. This CD-ROM therefore seems appropriate for the accelerated learning of essential abdominal ultrasound principles and techniques.

    Installation of the software is simple. Within minutes the novice is introduced to the basic physics and practicalities of sonographic imaging. Each organ of the abdominal cavity is anatomically orientated via a 3D animated model or coronal computed tomographic videographic image, relevant acoustic windows and shadows are highlighted, and normal ultrasonic images are emphasised. Representative images of common abnormalities, such as organomegaly, cysts, tumours, ascites and calculi, are presented via real time video images and multiple still images. Practical skills such as frame selection and organ measurement are emphasised and assessed. Cross reference icons allow for rapid updates on unfamiliar terms and principles, both within the text or via the world wide web.

    This CD-ROM costs US$175 for individual use and US$495 for institutional use (plus shipping costs outside the US). While the educational content and the graphical quality are impressive, this CD-ROM needs more emergency case studies, particularly traumatic cases, for it to be of clinical and financial value in an accident and emergency department.