Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
Microangiopathy is the term applied to the abnormal state of the capillaries, arterioles, and venules found in the diabetic patient. It is characterized principally by thickening of the basement membrane of these small vessels. It might be worth mentioning that while we are concerned here with the smaller blood vessels, diabetic patients also show thickening of the basement membrane beneath the endothelium of arteries of all sizes. Also, the basement membrane-like material that surrounds each smooth muscle fiber in the wall of arteries shows similar thickening in diabetic patients. With this thickening, there is an increased glycoprotein content of the arterial wall. Diabetic microangiopathy is associated with well known clinical disturbances in the retina and in the kidney, but involves as well capillaries throughout the body.
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