Vascular Abnormalities in Diabetes Mellitus

  • Katherine D. Hein
  • George L. King
Part of the Contemporary Endocrinology book series (COE, volume 1)


Diabetes mellitus causes a variety of changes in the vascular system, affecting both the micro-and macrovasculature. Classical pathologies in the microvasculature are manifested as diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy. Macrovascular diseases are observed in the coronary arteries, large peripheral vasculature involving mostly the lower limbs, and cerebral vessels. In addition, diabetes and insulin resistance are strongly associated with essential hypertension, and appear to accelerate the development of atherosclerosis (1,2). Vascular abnormalities of diabetes include nutrient delivery, defense against foreign agents, hemostasis/fibrinolysis, and repair of injury. Recent clinical and epidemiologic studies have shown that intensive insulin treatment with partial normalization of glycemic control delays the appearance and possibly slows the progression of diabetic microvascular complications and neuropathy in type I diabetic patients. However, the evidence that good glycemic control can prevent or slow the progression ofmacrovascular diseases is not clear (3). In this chapter, we discuss the cellular and molecular mechanisms that may explain the underlying pathological and clinical abnormalities observed in the vascular complications of diabetes.


Diabetic Nephropathy Diabetic Retinopathy Mesangial Cell Aldose Reductase Diabetic Proliferative Retinopathy 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine D. Hein
  • George L. King

There are no affiliations available

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