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December 1974

Lumbar Sympathetic Ganglia in Atherosclerotic Patients, Diabetic and NondiabeticA Comparative Morphological and Ultrastructural Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery B and the J. Casper Institute of Pathology, Beilinson Medical Center, Petah Tigva, Israel, and Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, Ramat-Aviv, Israel.

Arch Surg. 1974;109(6):787-792. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01360060057015

The lumbar sympathetic ganglia of ten atherosclerotic patients, six diabetics and four nondiabetics, were examined by light and electron microscopy. Giant neurons and vacuolation of the neurons were observed in the diabetic patients. Electron microscopy showed dilated endoplasmic reticulum cisterns with formation of large vacuoles. A few neurons were filled with membranous bodies. Axonal degeneration was observed. Blood vessels showed duplication of the basal membrane. The neuronal lesions are considered to represent primary effect of diabetes not related to blood vessel lesions. The sympathetic ganglia lesions may be responsible for the unsatisfactory results of sympathectomy in diabetics.