Handbook of Medical Imaging. Volumes 1-3 Volume 1: Physics and Psychophysics Edited by

Harold L.
, and
Richard L.
Van Metter
$110.00 (949 pp.). ISBN 0-8194-3621-6

Volume 2: Medical Image Processing and Analysis Edited by

J. Michael
$130.00 (1218 pp.). ISBN 0-8194-3622-4

Volume 3: Display and PACS: Edited by

Steven C.
$110.00 (512 pp.). ISBN 0-8194-3623-2 
Bellingham, Wash.
, 2000. $315.00 set (2679 pp.). Set no. PM81Z

Handbook of Medical Imaging , published by SPIE (The International Society for Optical Engineering) Press, is a three-volume edited reference providing a comprehensive overview of the theory and current practice of medical imaging.

Volume 1: Physics and Psychophysics , edited by Jacob Beutel, Harold L. Kundel, and Richard L. Van Metter, contains 20 chapters. Part I consists of 8 chapters devoted to the physics principles of medical imaging, and Part II covers psychophysics. Volume 2: Medical Image Processing and Analysis , edited by Milan Sonka and J. Michael Fitzpatrick, contains 19 chapters presenting the ideas and the methods of image processing and analysis that are at work in the field of medical imaging. Volume 3: Display and PACS, edited by Yongmin Kim and Steven C. Horii contains 13 chapters, with the first 7 on image display technology and the rest on PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems).

These three volumes are probably one of the most comprehensive collections of topics in medical imaging available today, both in theory and practice. Each chapter is written by researchers in medical imaging who have participated frequently in the annual SPIE conference in medical imaging in southern California; for this reason, the chapters reflect the respective authors’ accumulated knowledge, gained through years of interaction with colleagues in their field of expertise. Each chapter in these three volumes is self-contained and can be understood without referring to other chapters. The volumes can be used as a reference for the professional or as a textbook in medical imaging.

For educational purposes, chapters can be selected to form senior or graduate courses; the prerequisite would be a one-year course in image processing. The instructor can select different chapters according to the medical imaging curriculum and supplement with outside readings based on references given in the chapter. In addition, the instructor may want to formulate problem sets and experiments to augment the class lectures. The descriptions in each chapter of problems remaining to be solved could provide excellent ideas for dissertation research.

Medical imaging is physics, engineering, technology, and human acceptance and interaction. Although physics principles are the driving force in medical imaging, the roles of engineering and technology evolve through time and are dictated by user requirements and demand. The readers are cautioned that today’s prevailing medical imaging technology may render itself obsolete in a very short time, because of technological advancement, human, and social factors. Medical imaging is not just the practice of science, but also the practice of art.