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89 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comparative review of 3 embryology textbooks, August 30, 2002
This review is from: Langman's Medical Embryology (Paperback)
I needed to build an embryology reference library for my own writing purposes, and bought three books at once from Amazon.com: Sadler, Moore & Persaud (The Developing Human, ISBN 0-7216-6974-3), and Larsen (Essentials of Human Embryology, ISBN 0-443-07514-X). Of the three, I keep gravitating toward Sadler as the most useful.
Although the other two are beneficial for more detailed accounts, Sadler gives the quickest and clearest grasp of the essential points. Sadler and Larsen write with more lucid prose and have a clearer conceptual flow than Moore & Persaud, but Sadler has the advantage of brevity for readers who do not need the minutiae.
Sadler also outshines the other two books in the clarity and color schemes of the line art (although not in number of illustrations). The art and photography in this book make the complex 3-dimensional changes of embryology as easy to visualize as one could hope. I find the pink and yellow color scheme in much of Moore & Persaud's line art, and the pink cast of many of the fetal photographs, unappealing.
Larsen is the only one of these books with a glossary. Sadler and Moore are the only ones with clinical case studies to test the reader's insight and problem-solving ability; both offer an appendix of solutions to the clinical problems. All three books have clinical application sidebars or chapter sections. The clinical applications in Moore are especially numerous, perhaps even to the point of distraction as they sometimes overshadow the main text. All three books have bibliographies for further reading on each chapter, with the larger Larsen and Moore books offering somewhat more references than Sadler.
If one does not need to get very deeply into embryology but needs an efficient overview of essential points, I recommend the compact and handy Sadler book above the others. For more depth, but with comparably clear writing, I recommend Larsen. Moore and Persaud, in my impression, is the least clearly written and least well illustrated, but the richest in clinical content.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 18, 2008 8:50:00 AM PDT
Elie says:
thanks for the detailed review and comparison of other books! very helpful

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 9:35:13 PM PST
A. Bouardi says:
I also appreciate the in-depth comparisons but at first was confused by your description of Sadler's text as "clear". One of the problems with Langman's is it is exactly not clear for a beginning med student who has not already encountered embryology...the text might actually be "too concise" to make any sense at all. See some of the 1 and 2 star reviews to get an idea of what the problem is.
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