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Capillary Microscopy in Juvenile Diabetes Mellitus

Stella B. Kontras, MD; Joann G. Bodenbender, MT; Sara C. Rettemnier, RN; Thomas E. Shaffer, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1968;116(2):135-142. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100020137004.
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MICROANGIOPATHY has been demonstrated in prediabetic and diabetic states by light and electron microscopy of excised tissues.1,2 In vivo observations of changes in the microcirculation have involved primarily the bulbar conjunctiva.3 The nailbed capillaries have been studied in various diseases, including diabetes, by Landau and Davis.4 A simple technique described in 19655 for capillary photomicroscopy of nailfold capillaries was used to study morphology of the microvasculature in juvenile diabetics and normal controls.

Materials and Methods  The technique used has been previously described5 and involves examination of nailfold capillaries at 40 × magnification with a stereoscopic microscope (American Optical). Special lighting and a Polaroid camera permitted rapid photography for permanent records. Serial observations are possible with this method.Observations on capillary structures included average length and width, expressed and compared in millimeters, and not actual measurements of structures. Also noted were the number of capillary loops per field

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