For a number of years clinicians have been impressed with the fact that measurements of pulmonary function are extremely useful in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with various lung disorders. Bates and Christie have done a great service for all of us with the publication of this magnificent volume. They start with a critical discussion of methods which are available for the measurement of pulmonary function. They go on to a discussion of the normal lung including normal values for pulmonary function at rest, the effects of body position, the effects of obesity, the response to exercise, the effects of age on pulmonary function, pulmonary function in the new born infant and in children, adaptation to altitude, and factors affecting the pulmonary vascular bed.
Most of the rest of the book is a description of the respiratory function abnormalities found in various lung diseases. The authors present one of