A “blind” study on the ultrastructure of muscle capillaries has been carried out on diabetic and nondiabetic South African patients. A significant difference was found in the mean thickness of the basal lamina between the two groups. However, there was considerable overlap in the distribution of mean basal lamina thickness. Attention is drawn to the problems associated with measuring the basal lamina accurately, and to the need for making selective measurements around the circumference of the capillary. It is concluded that thickening of the basal lamina is nonspecific. Therefore, the study of muscle capillaries at this time does not appear to provide a means of diagnosing or prognosticating the course of the disease.

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