The goals of this manual are (a) to present the basic hematology facts which are essential for main course of Internal Medicine (8-10th semester of the University curriculum) and (b) to provide additional information which may be useful for the courses “Disorders of Hemostasis; Transfusion Medicine” and “Hematology” are offered as elective (in the University of Athens) during the last two years of medical studies. It is clear that the manual is addressed to graduate level and does not constitute a comprehensive textbook of hematology or a book for the fellows specializing in hematology. The structure of the manual has followed a modern trend, i.e., to present its content at two “levels” (first and second part of each chapter), the first one defining the knowledge which is absolutely necessary for the student of medicine and the second providing the knowledge which students more interested in this field might find useful to acquire.
In some points the descriptions of various processes repeat information which should be offered (or has been offered) in earlier courses, such as Biochemistry and basic Biology. The authors have tried to keep these repetitions at a minimum but could not completely avoid them because the clinical picture as well the necessary therapeutic procedures of several blood diseases require adequate understanding of the underlying mechanisms at the level of basic sciences. Perhaps, this question reflects the fact that, for the time being (University of Athens), basic sciences are not considered as a “prerequisite” for the start of the clinical courses.
The information provided in the manual is based on that offered in the classical textbooks of hematology. In addition, for questions of special interest or those offering novel data, the reader can find a number of relevant references and e-links for further sudy at the end of each chapter.