Hereditary hearing loss, book review

Jan Grenner jan.grenner at
Fri Mar 29 07:31:58 EST 1996

"Hereditary hearing loss and its syndromes"; Gorlin RJ, Toriello HV, Cohen
Jr, MM., Oxford University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-19-506552-2. Retail price =A3=
150.- in Great Britain.

This comprehensive book covers hundreds of hereditary disorders that may
affect hearing. The first chapters on basic genetics and the embryology of=
the ear are well suited for a thorough study, whereas the rest of the book=
is a dictionary, covering common and uncommon disorders and syndromes. Some=
of these exist only as occasional case reports and several conditions have=
been described even if a hereditary nature of the disorder is not proven in=
all cases. For the various syndromes, the findings, inheritance patterns,=20
and prognosis are stated. Older forms of classifications are included for=20
some syndromes. Considerations on differential diagnoses are made, thus=20
facilitating study on related syndromes. Many bibliographical references are=
included, albeit that some references are old. This is however unavoidable=
in a field where case reports are not published very often. The index is=20
large, and easy to use. This is essential in a book of this kind since many=
conditions may include various symptoms, not necessarily being present=20
simultaneously in every patient. The pictures are in black and white and the=
print quality is excellent. The amount of knowledge on hearing is very=20
variable for the different syndromes and this is being reflected in the=20
text. The latest knowledge on Turner syndrome is not available, nor are=20
emissions mentioned. With these few exceptions, the text material is of the=
highest quality.

The book is essential to the medical audiologist working with syndrome
classification and counselling to parents. An earlier book on the subject,=
by Konigsmark et al., has been out of print for many years. The book should=
be available at reference libraries and in units working within genetics or=
medical audiology. Even if one can read about the various conditions in=20
separate papers, this type of book generates an overview that otherwise=20
cannot easily be gained.

Jan Grenner, MD, PhD, Dept. of Audiology, University Hospital, Malmoe,=20

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