Capillary number and percentage closed in human diabetic sural nerve

P. J. Dyck, S. Hansen, J. Karnes, P. O'Brien, H. Yasuda, A. Windebank, B. Zimmerman

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198 Scopus citations


The number of capillaries per mm2, minimum intercapillary distance, number of endothelial nuclei per capillary section, and percentage of capillaries closed were evaluated in transverse sections of fascicles of 45 control and 36 diabetic sural nerves. All controls and patients were prospectively studied to ascertain their diabetic and neuropathic status. An index of pathology was introduced and it was found to provide a sensitive and reliable measurement of the presence and severity of neuropathy. The number of capillaries and minimum intercapillary distance of diabetic nerves were not significantly different from those of controls (P > 0.05). Diabetic nerves exhibited a small but statistically significant increase in the number of endothelial nuclei per capillary that was positively correlated with the severity of neuropathy. The most striking abnormality was the statistically significant increase in the percentage of capillaries closed in patients with neuropathy as compared to those without neuropathy and controls. Among diabetics, this percentage increased with the severity of neuropathy (P = 0.008). The two capillary abnormalities that have been demonstrated may play a role in the development of diabetic polyneuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2513-2517
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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