A compendium is a brief treatment or summary of a larger body of knowledge. As with an abstract, a compendium is difficult to prepare – to convey fairly and accurately a large amount of accumulated knowledge without omitting facts and details that readers need or wish to know. The editors of this compendium do not have expertise in all of the diseases and disorders described herein. As has been done in other compendia, we relied on others, in the United States and elsewhere, to write most of the information assembled here. We are indebted to these scientists who responded willingly and with considerable patience to our requests. Those who prepared the descriptions are listed at the end of each section. Contributors of photographs and illustrations are acknowledged only when they were not the authors of the accompanying text.
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