Pancreatic islet volumes of patients with and without maturity onset diabetes mellitus were estimated. The islet volume of the diabetic patients was 1.01 +/- 0.12 cm3 (SEM) and that of the non-diabetic patients 1.60 +/- 0.16 cm3 with considerable overlap between the two groups. Islet amyloidosis was found in all the diabetic and in 9 of the 15 non-diabetic patients. When the amyloid deposits were excluded, the islet volume of the diabetic patients was 0.89 +/- 0.10 cm3, while that of the non-diabetic patients was unchanged, 1.60 +/- 0.16 cm3. There was still some overlapping. Since amyloid deposits seem to destroy the B cell membranes, it was postulated that a comparison of the volumes of islets completely free of amyloid might give a more true picture of the quantitative islet alterations in maturity onset diabetes. It was found that this islet volume of the diabetics was only 0.41 +/- 0.05 cm3 and that of the non-diabetic patients 1.58 +/- 0.16 cm3. These values correspond better to the altered insulin secretion in maturity-onset diabetes mellitus.