With the rapid advances in diagnostic medicine, it is more important than ever for consumers to have access to up-to-date, objective information about the tools commonly used by physicians, hospitals and commercial labs. This second edition provides a basic understanding of these diagnostic procedures. Organized alphabetically, this comprehensive guide provides information on more than 1000 commonly prescribed tests, including the CAT scan, MRI, PSA blood test for prostate, HIV test, mammography, fetal monitoring, and the pulmonary function test. Each entry includes a description of the test, patient preparation required, a description of the procedure itself, the reference range, what abnormal values may signify, and the cost of each test. An extensive glossary of medical terms translates professional terminology into accessible language, as does an appendix on medical abbreviations and symbols.
Joseph C. Segen, M.D. is a board-certified pathologist who has written extensively for both professional and lay audiences. Among his recent books are Current Med Talk (1995) and The Dictionary of Alternative Medicine (1997), both for Simon & Schuster's Health Professions Division. He is also the co-inventor of several surgical devices and is skilled in technical illustrations and graphics. He lives in Grundy, VA and is affiliated with Buchanan General Hospital. Josie Wade Owens, a critical care nurse, has provided the clinical perspective for this edition. She lives in Grundy, VA.