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To the Editor: About 30% of patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus develop diabetic nephropathy. Since diabetic nephropathy contributes to a large extent to the high mortality of these patients, a risk marker for the development of this condition is desirable. Increase in [Na.sup.+]/[Li.sup.+] countertransport across the red cell membrane has been suggested as such an early marker [1-4], although this was not uniformly confirmed [5-7]. In this study, the three main methods to load erythrocytes with [Li.sup.+] were compared and tested for their measuring error and intrasubject variation of [V.sub.max] and [K.sub.0.5] for [Na.sup.+].