You are here: Urology Textbook > Anatomy > Adrenal Glands
Anatomy of the Adrenal Glands
- Anatomy of the Adrenal Glands (1/3): Gross appearance, vascular supply, innervation.
- Anatomy of the Adrenal Glands (2/3): Corticosteroids.
- Anatomy of the Adrenal Glands (3/3): Catecholamins.
References: (Benninghoff, 1993).
Gross Anatomy of the Adrenal Glands
The adrenal glands are a paired endocrine organ located in the retroperitoneum above the upper poles of the kidneys. The weight of the two adrenal glands is about 8 g. The cut surface of the adrenal gland is divided into the outer yellow-gold adrenal cortex and brown-red inner adrenal medulla.
Anatomical neighborhood: cranial diaphragm, anterior liver (right) and pancreas (left), caudal the kidney and medial vena cava (right) and aorta (left).
Vascular and Nerve Supply to the Adrenal Glands
- Superior adrenal artery: from the inferior phrenic artery, often several branches.
- Middle adrenal artery: from the aorta.
- Inferior adrenal artery: from the renal artery, often several branches.
- V. suprarenalis joins: right in the vena cava and left renal vein.
- Nerve supply: from the suprarenal plexus, splanchnic nerves and vagus nerve.
Microscopic Anatomy (Histology) of the adrenal glands
A thin capsule covers the adrenal cortex; from outside to inside the cortex consists of three layers:
- Zona glomerulosa
- Zona fascicularis
- Zona reticularis
The assignment of the adrenal hormone production to individual layers is not fully possible. The mineralocorticoids are produced from the zona glomerulosa, the glucocorticoids and androgens mostly from the zona fascicularis and reticularis.
The adrenal medulla contains chromeaffin cells (catecholamine production), which are arranged in strands with intervening blood sinus. Depending on the production of adrenaline and norepinephrine, the chromeaffin cells are distinguished between the A (95%) and N cells (5%). Multi-polar sympathetic ganglion cells are found between chromeaffin cells.
Index: 1–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
- Benninghoff 1993 BENNINGHOFF, A.:
- Makroskopische Anatomie, Embryologie und Histologie des
München; Wien; Baltimore : Urban und Schwarzenberg, 1993
Deutsche Version: Anatomie der Nebennieren (Glandula suprarenalis).