This welcome addition to the series Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine emerges from the most recent of a series of meetings organized by Alvar Net and Salvador Benito of Barcelona. This gathering provided a forum for European intensive care specialists to exchange ideas, knowledge and experience on, the measurements feasible in mechanically ventilated patients. The scope was ambitious, ranging from basics like the measurement of airway pressure and blood gases to topics such as CT, MRI and the multiple inert gas elimination technique. The success of the meeting made publication a logical consequence. The book is unique in its breadth. The contributors, from numerous centers in Europe and North America, cover all tech niques employed in intensive care units, describing indications, contraindications, procedures, biases and complications. This volume will be an invaluable source for intensive care specialists and other clinicians. Alongside practical descriptions of procedures they employ routinely (spirometry, measurement of sys temic vascular oxygen pressure, Swan-Ganz catheterization, BOPA etc.), they will find accounts of such sophisticated techniques as on line measurement offunctional residual capacity, isotope determina tion of ventilation/perfusion ratios, diaphragmatic metabolism and peripheral oxygen exchange. I am especially happy to see the book published by Springer-Verlag, which has distinguished itself in the field of intensive care medicine.