Few clinicians ever ask their local pulmonary function laboratory to determine closing volumes or expiratory flow-volume curves. And still fewer of us understand their true pathophysiological importance. It is thus timely to find a book that explains so well these and other advances in pulmonary physiology. The section on pulmonary blood flow, for example, so clearly presents complexities like transmural pulmonary artery pressure variations and lung capillary recruitment that one does not have to be a subspecialist in pulmonary medicine to understand or retain interest in these "basic science" topics.
The last two thirds of this primer, more clinically oriented, achieve an excellent blending of the science and practice of medicine, especially regarding interstitial lung disease and hypoxemia. Current views about occupational lung diseases, sarcoidosis, optimal ventilator settings, complications of artificial ventilation, the nonrespiratory functions of the lung, and the pitfalls and misleading information that can result from radioisotope ventilation