Renal biopsy tissue obtained from nine nondiabetic subjects and ten patients having diabetes secondary to primary pancreatic disease was studied by light and electron microscopy. The technic for measurement of the basement membrane thickness at the periphery of the glomerular capillaries is described. In seven of the secondary diabetics the capillary basement membrane thickness exceeded 3,500 Å, a width greater than the mean value in the healthy control group by more than two standard deviations. Changes in cellular ultrastructure were also observed. These findings suggest that microangiopathy occurs more frequently in secondary diabetics than has hitherto been conceded and support the view that at least one of the primary causes of basement membrane changes is the metabolic disturbance consequent upon inadequate insulin activity.

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