Forty patients with Type I membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis were treated for one year with dipyridamole, 225 mg per day, and aspirin, 975 mg per day, in a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. At the base line, the half-life of 51Cr-labeled platelets was reduced in 12 of 17 patients. The platelet half-life became longer and renal function stabilized in the treated group, as compared with the placebo group, suggesting a relation between platelet consumption and the glomerulopathy. The glomerular filtration rate, determined by iothalamate clearance, was better maintained in the treated group (average decrease, 1.3 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 of body-surface area per 12 months) than in the placebo group (average decrease, 19.6). Fewer patients in the treated group than in the placebo group had progression to end-stage renal disease (3 of 21 after 62 months as compared with 9 of 19 after 33 months). The data suggest that dipyridamole and aspirin slowed the deterioration of renal function and the development of end-stage renal disease.