Editors: Leonard B. Nelson, MD and Scott E. Olitsky, MD
Publisher: Wolters Kluwer | Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins – 527 pages
Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

This book was first published in 1975 by Drs. Robison Harley (who passed away in 2008) and Marshall Parks. Immediately, it became the Bible for their disciples who helped children with eye problems, and their trainees who followed them. That first undertaking “filled a void,” as Dr. David Walton writes in his Foreword to this edition.

He describes Dr. Harley as “the consummate clinician and teacher” and someone with “humanity, love of life, beautiful surgery, humility, tolerance for others less skilled than himself, and constant giving to others.”    

On his professional accomplishments and contribution to knowledge, Dr. Parks remarked in the second edition: “Robison Harley has made his mark in medicine through this monumental work, and for this we pediatric ophthalmologists are eternally grateful.”

This book has a vast amount of information in a specialization that is growing rapidly with new discoveries and advances. As the editors of this book Drs. Leonard Nelson and Scott E. Olitsky write in the Preface to this edition, pediatric ophthalmology, once regarded as an “unnecessary subspecialty” has today become “a fundamental component of the field.”

Forty doctors have contributed material to the 24 chapters that comprise this outstanding book in the field of pediatric ophthalmology. They not only share their knowledge, they also provide the insight on the issues they faced and why they chose specific treatments in numerous types of  cases they handled over the many decades of experience in their practices. They write on a wide range of topics in this book:

amblyopia; binocular vision; congenital abnormalities of the optical disk; conjunctival diseases; diseases of the cornea; diseases of the retina and vitreous; disorders of the lacrimal apparatus in infancy and childhood; disorders of the orbit; genetics of eye disease; glaucoma in infants and children; and neonatal ophthalmology.

Also: neuroophthalmology; nystagmus; ocular abnormalities in childhood metabolic disorders; ocular trauma and its prevention; ocular tumors of childhood; pediatric cataracts and lens anomalies; pediatric eye examination; pediatric eyelid disorders; pediatric uveitis; retinopathy of prematurity; strabismus disorders; and systematic hematomatoses (“phakomatoses”).       

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The chapters begin with an introductory paragraph or paragraphs. Then, topics and subtopics relating to the subject or title of the chapter are taken up. Very informative and helpful photos of patients and their diseases and disorders bring to life the extent of severity of their eye problems. 

Visuals presented are: charts, computed tomography (CT) scans, goniophotographs, magnetic resonance images (MRIs), optical coherence tomography (OCT), tables, and x-rays.   

We give you here an overview of the contents of chapter 19 entitled Ocular Tumors of Childhood written by Carol L. Shields and Jerry A. Shields. The Overview at the outset of this chapter informs you that there are several types of benign and malignant tumors that occur in children. The consequences of some of these occurrences can be severe, such as loss of vision, loss of the eye itself, or in the case of malignant neoplasms, loss of life.

They state that based on their extensive clinical experience on tumors over 50 years, they review the general concepts of some types of childhood eye tumors. They then present the specific clinical manifestations of some tumors of the conjunctiva, eyelid, intraocular structures, and orbit. 

Their discussion consists of:

  • Clinical Signs of Childhood Ocular Tumors (types as named above)
  • Diagnostic Approaches

The discussion continues with the varieties and features of tumors (and accompanying photos of children with the tumors) found in different parts of the eye. For example under Eyelid Tumors, they discuss:

  • Capillary Hemangioma
  • Facial Nevus Flammeus
  • Kaposi Sarcoma
  • Basal Cell Sarcoma 
  • Melanocytic Nevus
  • Neurofibroma
  • Neurilemoma

This is followed by presentation (with photos) and discussion of the many different types each of conjunctiva tumors, intraocular tumors, and orbital tumors.

This is an excellent book on the growing subspecialty of pediatric ophthalmology. The two editors and the 40 contributors named below have done a marvelous job of intensively covering the various topics we have named in the sixth and seventh paragraphs above.    

Leonard B. Nelson, MD, MBA is Director of Wills Eye Strabismus Center; Co-Director of the Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Ocular Genetics at Wills Eye Hospital; and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Pediatrics at Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
Scott E. Olitsky, MD is Professor of Ophthalmology at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics at the University of Missouri – Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, Massachusetts. 

Nagham Al-Zubidi, MD
J. Bronwyn Bateman
William E. Benson, MD
Gary C. Brown, MD, MBA
Melissa M. Brown, MD, MN, MBA
Robert A. Catalano, MD, MBA
David K. Coats, MD
Forrest J. Ellis, MD
Sharon F, Freedman, MD
Nandini K. Gandhi, MD
Kammi B. Gunton, MD
Denise Hug, MD
Leila M. Khazeini, MD
Laura Kirkeby, CO
Andrew G. Lee, MD
Alex V. Levin, MD, MHSc
Timothy P. Lindquist, MD
Grace T. Liu, MD
David B Lyon, MD, FASC
Leonard B. Nelson, MD, MBA
Scott E. Olitsky, MD
Gregory Ostrow, MD
Evelyn A. Paysse, MD
Christopher J. Rapuano, MD
Jagadesh C. Reddy, MD
Michael X. Repka, MD, MBA
James D. Reynolds, MD
Donald P. Sauberan, MD
Bruce M. Schnall, MD
Carol L. Shields, MD
Jerry A. Shields, MD
Arielle Spitze, MD
Mitchell B. Strominger, MD
William Tasman, MD
James F. Vander, MD
Rudolph S. Wagner, MD
Eric D. Weichtel, MD
Avery H. Weiss, MD
Sushma Yalamanchi, MD
Terri L. Young, MD