Diabetes 19, Microvascular Complications
Smaller blood vessels such as arterioles and capillaries are also affected in diabetes mellitus. In these small vessels there is a progressive thickening and increase in rigidity of the basement membranes; this results in a narrowed lumen and loss of elasticity. These complications in turn lead to localised tissue ischaemia and hypoxia. When this ischaemia is compounded by macrovascular ischaemia the viability of tissues can be seriously compromised. Microvascular disease leads to complications affecting the kidneys, eyes and peripheral nerves. It is known that good glycaemic control, with a HbA1C of 7% or less significantly reduces the development of the microvascular complications.