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Preface to the Sixth Edition
Medicine has drastically changed since Dr. Liebow introduced the first edition of this textbook 50 years ago. Otto Lubarsch and Friedrich Henke are unknown today to most practicing pathologists and “eosinophilic granuloma” is no longer of unknown etiology. Technological advances in radiology, immunohistochemical developments and molecular discoveries along with an ever-expanding therapeutic armamentarium have led to new clinicopathological disease classifications that have greatly impacted chest medicine. Our understanding and classification of interstitial lung diseases and, for example, the five categories of “angiitis and granulomatoses” have greatly evolved beyond mid-twentieth-century beliefs, and today a diagnosis of “non-small-cell carcinoma” is almost universally frowned upon, especially by chest oncologists! Specialized pulmonary hospitals were once rare, but now multidisciplinary disease teams in such institutions and other centers around the world effectively treat patients with respiratory diseases. Simply put, progress, although seemingly slow and uncertain, alters medical knowledge and patient care almost daily.
In this light, any attempt to produce an up-to-date educational and clinically useful tome is fraught with obstacles, not least of which is the threat of immediate obsolescence. However, to shirk from such a task would be in the best sense a disservice to those interested in updated concepts, and in the worst, nothing less than intellectual cowardice. This fiftieth anniversary edition demonstrates that the current generation of pulmonary pathologists accepts the task to update this veritable classic pulmonary pathology textbook.