Preface

The last thing one settles in writing a book is what one should put in first.

—Blaise Pascal, 1654

Dermatology textbooks exist in abundance. They include classics, such as Lever's Histopathology of the Skin, which have gone through several editions, as well as a burgeoning number of newer titles. They have served practitioners of pathology and dermatology well. However, the diagnosis and treatment of deadly der-matologic disorders remains a relatively unexamined topic. In Deadly Dermatologic Diseases, we have attempted to address this void in the literature. A wide variety of dermatologic entities are capable of directly leading to or are associated with serious medical consequences, including death. Because entities present in a variety of clinical and pathologic guises or represent emerging pathogens (such as anthrax or smallpox), it is important that clinicians and pathologists are apprised of and able to quickly recognize and treat these important public health concerns. This book is comprised of disorders capable of causing the death of the patient.

The book is organized in four sections dealing with dermatologic diseases: serious cutaneous malignancies, including merkel cell carcinoma and paraneo-plastic syndromes such as paraneoplastic pemphigus; life-threatening and/or emerging infectious pathogens, including anthrax and smallpox; endocrinologic disorders such as calciphylaxis; and, lastly, inborn errors of metabolism or life-threatening genodermatoses, such as ataxia telangiectasia. Each section of the book is organized alphabetically for easy reference. Approximately 50 disease states are discussed with accompanying full-color clinical and microscopic photographs. Each entity contains clinical photographs accompanied by photomicrographs detailing the diagnostic features of each case. Subsections detailing the demographic attributes, etiology, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, pathologic features, diagnostic adjuncts, treatment, and prognosis with a current bibliography of each disease state presented in a succinct bullet-style manner. Although comprehensive by design, this textbook is by no means exhaustive in scope. Several entities rarely capable of causing death or that are extremely uncommon have not been included due to space constraints.

This book should become a shelf reference work for primary care clinicians, including general practitioners and internists, dermatologists, and pathologists, who are responsible for the diagnosis of skin biopsy specimens. The book might also serve as a potential study source for dermatology and pathology residents preparing for board examinations and dermatopathologists in training.

Michael B. Morgan, MD Bruce R. Smoller, MD Stephen C. Somach, MD

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