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Renal structures in type 2 diabetic patients with elevated albumin excretion rate

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Renal biopsies were obtained from type 2 diabetic patients with elevated albumin excretion. The aim was to obtain quantitative structural data to correlate with clinical findings. Biopsies from 27 diabetic patients and 12 non-diabetic cases were analysed. Stereological methods were applied by light- and electron microscopy. Diabetic patients showed quantitatively markedly expressed diabetic glomerulopathy, but also an increase in glomerular volume, in prevalence of new-vessel formation at the vascular pole, prevalence of glomerular occlusion and in interstitial volume fraction. A significant correlation was not observed between the degree of interstitial and glomerular involvement. The glomerular hypertrophy is interpreted as a compensatory phenomenon, leading to preservation of filtration surface in the open glomeruli. Close correlation was seen between glomerulopathy and glomerular function, and also with the stage of retinopathy. New vessel formation at the vascular pole was most frequent in patients with proliferative retinopathy. Signs of non-diabetic glomerulopathy were not observed, but various atypical ultrastructural changes accompanying the advanced stages are illustrated. Our present findings correspond to data from type 1 diabetic patients. It is emphasised that all compartments of the kidney are affected by the diabetic state. It is suggested that the interstitial and glomerular lesions are influenced by different factors.

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Keywords: Diabetic glomerulopathy; diabetic nephropathy; glomerular occlusion; glomerular size; kidney biopsy; microalbuminuria; renal interstitium; stereology; type 2 diabetes

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Electron Microscopy Laboratory, University Institute of Pathology, Aarhus Kommunehospital, Aarhus, Denmark, 2: Department of Nephrology, University Hospital Lund, 3: Transplant Unit, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, 4: X-ray Department, and 5: Department of Medicine, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden

Publication date: 2001-11-01

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