Since the publication of the first edition of this tome in 1988, it has been my major reference text of clinical toxicology, far surpassing in utility, in my opinion, any other single volume. Like many others in my field, I have anxiously awaited the second edition. Unfortunately, the new edition has now become a memorial to its primary editor and driving force, Matthew J. Ellenhorn, MD, who died before its publication.
In the preface, Dr Ellenhorn relates the difficulties of writing a comprehensive toxicology text and his philosophy of doing so. Much of the clinical toxicology literature embodies anecdotal reports or uncontrolled case series, therefore much of our understanding of toxicology is derived from animal experimentation. In this edition, as with the first, Dr Ellenhorn has tried to limit his references to animal studies and is very selective in his use of anecdotal reports.
As with the first edition, the