Synovium aspirated from the knee joint by trochar was studied by light and electron microscopy in 40 cases of inflammatory arthritis and in 10 controls. The morphology of synovial capillaries, extravascular plasma diffusion, interendothelial vascular gaps, extracapillary blood cell migration, vascular congestion, endothelial hyperplasia, and obliteration of the capillary lumen by endothelial cells were compared in normal and inflammatory synovia. Inflammatory synovitis was characterised by the number and diversity of blood cells migrating through the interendothelial pathway out of the capillary lumen. Polymorphonuclear leucocytes were the blood cells most often seen at interendothelial junctions. No other capillary changes that might be related to synovial inflammation were found.
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