Regional editors collaborate on all-Asian radiology textbook

October 3, 2003

At the 1998 Asian Oceanian Congress of Radiology in Kobe, Japan, Professors Wilfred Peh and Yoshihiro Hiramatsu sat down for lunch to discuss Peh's idea of publishing an all-Asian authored radiology textbook."I had had thoughts about starting a

At the 1998 Asian Oceanian Congress of Radiology in Kobe, Japan, Professors Wilfred Peh and Yoshihiro Hiramatsu sat down for lunch to discuss Peh's idea of publishing an all-Asian authored radiology textbook.

"I had had thoughts about starting a textbook like this for some time," Peh said. "When I sat next to Professor Hiramatsu, I ran my ideas by him and he was enthusiastic and supportive."

After five years of planning, networking, writing, and editing, "The Asian-Oceanian Textbook of Radiology" was prepared for print in July. So far, over 4000 copies have been prepurchased, with an expected print run of 10,000.

The book includes contributions by 80 authors from 15 different countries including Japan, Korea, China, Nepal, Oman, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Peh and his coeditor Hiramatsu selected the authors on the basis of their expertise, scholarship, and commitment to radiological education in the region.

"This is the first of its kind - a pan-Asian comprehensive textbook of radiology written in English," Peh said. "This project brings together a diverse group of Asian experts, highlighting the talent and collective experience in this region."

Despite much radiological expertise in Asia, there is generally little cooperation and collaboration among radiologists from different centers, let alone different countries, according to Peh.

"Like it or not, the English language is the de facto universal language of international medicine and radiology," he said. "A book published in English therefore serves to unite radiologists from all over Asia and Australasia."

Imaging approaches to clinical problems and diseases in the West may not apply to Asian centers, due to the varying nature of practice, economics, and resources. Diseases and patterns of diseases such as gastric and liver cancer and tropical diseases are unique to Asia and rarely encountered in the West. For these types of maladies, the experience and expertise in diagnosis and treatment is in Asia.

The new 1300-page textbook covers the basic principles of imaging techniques, imaging anatomy, and diseases of various organ systems, as well as multisystem disorders, veterinary radiology, and future trends in radiology. It includes 2388 illustrations and 75 tables.

The book will primarily benefit residents, trainees, and practicing general radiologists. It will also be of assistance to clinical specialist trainees and clinical specialists, family physicians, and allied health professionals such as radiographers and nurses. Readers should be able to use the textbook to study for exams or as a quick reference during clinical practice.

"This book is badly needed and long overdue in the making," Peh said. "It is useful to all doctors practicing in the region and also to those living outside of the region who want to learn more about radiology practice in this region. I believe that this book is comparable to the best from the West and one that Asian radiology will be proud of."

If the response to the textbook is positive, Peh plans for a second edition, as well as a possible CD-ROM version.