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Diabetologia. 1993 Jun;36(6):523-9.

Early glomerulopathy is present in young, type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients with microalbuminuria.

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Aker Diabetes Research Center, Aker University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.


Increased urinary albumin excretion, microalbuminuria, may be the first sign of early diabetic nephropathy. We examined glomeruli by morphometric methods in 17 patients with Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus and microalbuminuria. The median age was 19 (range 18-29) years, duration of diabetes 12 (8-15) years, mean blood pressure 93 (87-115) mm Hg, glomerular filtration rate 132 (101-209) ml.min-1.1.73 m2 -2, albumin excretion rate (mean over 1 year) 32 (15-194) micrograms/min. Reference data were obtained from 11 healthy kidney donors. Mesangial volume estimates were obtained by serial sectioning in three total profiles in each of three glomeruli in diabetic patients. Basement membrane thickness and matrix volume fraction were estimated from one level per glomerulus. Two matrix parameters, matrix star volume and matrix thickness, were estimated. Interstitial volume fraction in cortex was measured by light microscopy. The morphological parameters were significantly increased in the diabetic group compared to the control group, basement membrane thickness (mean with 95% confidence intervals) was 595 nm (549-641 nm) vs 305 nm (287-325 nm), p = 0.0001; mesangial volume fraction 0.22 (0.21-0.23) vs 0.19 (0.18-0.21), p = 0.04, and matrix volume fraction 0.13 (0.12-0.13 vs 0.09 (0.08-0.10), p = 0.001. Also matrix star volume and thickness, interstitial volume fraction and mean capillary diameter were significantly increased. The intra-individual variation among glomeruli expressed as coefficient of variation was 7.4% vs 9% (basement membrane thickness) and 11.7% vs 25% (mesangial volume fraction) in the diabetic and the control group, respectively.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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