No investigator yet has conceived a theory of agnogenic myeloid metaplasia that explains the varied manifestations of this disorder. In the absence of a good conceptual model of the illness, reviewers must elaborate the details of its many clinical and pathologic manifestations. A recent and comprehensive review of this entity by Ward and Block was published in the Sept 1971 issue of Medicine, and I do not believe that the present monograph has added new insights or brought additional data to the study of the disease.
The monograph is well written, the figures are pertinent and clear, and the author succinctly summarizes his experience with 169 patients between 1965 and 1970 at the Mayo Clinic. It is interesting that the author had two patients with ascites attributable to peritoneal implants with myeloid metaplasia that responded to abdominal irradiation, and he suggests that cautious irradiation may be indicated in such situations.