Publication of the 16th English edition of Basic Histology marks the 50th anniversary of the book's creation by L. C. Junqueira, M.D. and colleagues. That edition, the first histology textbook published in soft cover, was compact, concise, highly readable, yet authoritative and quickly set the standard by which subsequent textbooks in the area of histology and cell biology would be judged. After Dr. Junqueira's death I accepted the McGraw Hill editors' challenge to maintain this high standard with the English edition and strove to improve all aspects of the book's utility for the modern student in the health professions while maintaining its compact size and ease of use. Based on its position as a perennial best-seller among Histology textbooks on Amazon and its selection as a Core Title in the Health Sciences by Doody's Book Review Service, Junqueira's Basic Histology clearly continues as the preeminent source of concise yet thorough information on human tissue structure and function. For five decades this educational resource has met the needs of learners for a well-organized and summarizing presentation of cell biology and histology that integrates the material with that of biochemistry, immunology, endocrinology, and physiology and provides an excellent foundation for subsequent studies in pathology. The text is prepared specifically for students of medicine and other health-related professions, as well as for advanced undergraduate courses in human tissue biology. Because of its value and appeal to students and instructors alike, Junqueira's Basic Histology: Text and Atlas has been translated into more than a dozen languages and is used in medical schools throughout the world.
Unlike any other histology texts and atlases, each chapter of this edition again includes a set of multiple-choice Self-Test Questions, which allow readers to assess their comprehension and knowledge of important points in the subject. A few questions in each set utilize clinical vignettes for framing the medical relevance and applications of basic science concepts, as recommended by the United States National Board of Medical Examiners, in addition to the questions assessing learners' understanding of basic concepts. Each chapter also includes a Summary of Key Points to guide students for review of the most clearly important information. Summary Tables in each chapter organize and condense important information, facilitating efficient learning. Modern page design and graphics further simplify study of this material.
Each chapter has been revised and shortened where feasible, while coverage of specific topics has been expanded and updated as needed. Inserted throughout each chapter are more numerous, short paragraphs indicating how the information presented can be applied clinically and emphasizing the foundational relevance of the material learned.
The art and other figures are presented in each chapter, with the goal to simplify learning and integration with related material. Used throughout the text the McGraw Hill biomedical illustrations are arguably the most useful, thorough, and attractive of any similar medical textbook. Every human tissue and cell is shown with electron and light micrographs which comprise a complete atlas of cell, tissue, and organ structures fully compatible with the students' own collection of glass or digital light microscope slides.
The digital version of Junqueira's Basic Histology: Text and Atlas includes significant changes with this edition. The digital version is available at no charge to health science students whose medical library offers McGraw Hill's AccessMedicine among its electronic resources, which includes the library resources of more than 95% of medical schools in North America. Each chapter of this new SIXTEENTH edition now incorporates a detailed Lab Guide for that material, including (1) the learning objectives for that laboratory session, (2) a list of important structures to identify and terms to use and understand, (3) detailed microscopic directions for studying each tissue and locating those structures, and (4) self-assessment questions with each session. These laboratory exercises link the photographic material in the Junqueira textbook and correlate with slides in any virtual or glass slide collection, making this digital Lab Guide a unique instrument among the learning resources of any other histology text and atlas. No other major textbook of tissue biology includes such detailed guidance for learners through the microscopic or laboratory portion of the typical medical school coverage of histology. As of this writing in mid-2020, the previous FIFTEENTH edition of Junqueira on AccessMedicine continues to include these features of the digital Lab Guide, along with links to an excellent collection of scannable and focusable virtual light microscope slides.
Students who cannot link to AccessMedicine will lack this digital Lab Guide but may still utilize the collection of over 150 virtual light microscope slides of human tissues and organs at: http://medsci.indiana.edu/junqueira/virtual/junqueira.htm. This set of virtual slides is presently available without restrictions for use with any instructor's guide for human histology lab exercises.
As with other recent editions of Junqueira, both print and digital versions of this edition facilitate learning by their overall organization:
An opening chapter reviews the histological techniques which allow understanding of cell and tissue structure.
Two chapters then summarize the structural and functional organization of human cell biology, presenting the cytoplasm and nucleus separately.
The next seven chapters cover the four basic tissues that make up our organs: epithelia, connective tissue (and its major sub-types), nervous tissue, and muscle.
Remaining chapters explain the organization and functional significance of these tissues in each of the body's organ systems, closing with up-to-date consideration of cells in the unique organs of special sense, the eye and ear.
For additional review of what's been learned or to assist rapid assimilation of the material in Junqueira's Basic Histology, McGraw Hill has published a set of 200 full-color Basic Histology Flash Cards, which I've also authored. Each card includes images of key structures to identify, a summary of important facts about those structures, and a clinical comment. This valuable learning aid is available as a set of actual cards from Amazon.com, or as an app for smartphones or tablets from the online App Store.
With its proven strengths, excellent up-to-date pedagogical features, and links with the new digital Lab Guide, I am confident that Junqueira's Basic Histology will continue as one of the most valuable and most widely read educational resources in histology. As always, users are invited to provide me with feedback about any aspect of the book's content or features.
Anthony L. Mescher
Indiana University School of Medicine—Bloomington