Elsevier’s Integrated Histology

Author: Alvin G. Tesler with John K. Young & Kate M. Baldwin

Publisher: Mosby Elsevier, 2007

420 pp + index, $39.95 softcover


Elsevier’s Integrated Series continues with Anatomy and Embryology, another textbook endeavor to link various basic science disciplines in the early years of medical school. This medical student text and review resource includes access to Elsevier’s Student Consult Website and nine case studies with questions and discussion at the end of the book. While the book delivers sufficient anatomical information, the embryology integration is via bookbinding more than through concepts and embryological reasoning.

Elsevier’s Integrated Histology is one in a series of review books for the USMLE Step I exam. The textbook follows the organization found in many other histology texts, starting with an introductory chapter on techniques used for studying cells and information on basic cell structure, followed by three chapters devoted to descriptions of the four basic tissue types. The remaining 10 chapters are devoted to the histology of each of the body systems.

Each chapter begins with a brief table of contents listing the major headings within the chapter. The text is well written, engaging, and informative, written in a concise manner without irrelevant information. The authors assume that the reader has a basic knowledge of histology. There are a considerable number of high-quality colored micrographs located throughout the book. Structures are clearly and accurately labeled and/or delineated. Where micrographs are not possible, detailed multi-colored illustrations are used. Electron micrographs are also used to depict cellular ultrastructure. Each photograph or illustration has a descriptive figure legend that conveys a clear message to the reader. Included in the description is the type of stain used for the specimen and in most, but not all, the magnification factors. Where appropriate, tables are used to categorize or summarize information.

One feature that distinguishes this textbook from other histology books is the integration boxes found throughout the text. Color-coded boxes contain information that integrates histology with other areas of the health sciences and clinical medicine, including pathology, immunology, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, embryology, and microbiology. This provides the reader with a readily available resource for additional information, if desired.

One obvious weakness is the absence of study questions at the end of each chapter. However, there are 14 case studies at the conclusion of the text, each related to an individual chapter in the book. The case studies integrate histology and other areas of clinical medicine to focus on various medical disorders or condition. Answers to the case studies are provided.

The text is an excellent book for a review of histology or as a reference book for a course. Access to StudentConsult, available with the textbook, provides the text and images in an online version with a 50-question summary test.


Reviewer: Donna Ritch, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Human Biology, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Review Date: September 2009

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