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Anatomy of
Suprarenal
Glands
Yuniarti
Anatomy Department
Faculty of Medicine
UNISBA
Location
of Suprarenal Glands
• Located between the
superomedial aspects of the
kidneys and the diaphragm
•The pyramidal right gland is more apical (situated over the superior pole) relative
to the right kidney, lies anterolateral to the right of the diaphragm, and makes
contact with the IVC anteromedially and the liver anterolaterally
• The crescent-shaped left gland is medial to the superior half of the left
kidney and is related to the spleen, stomach, pancreas and the left of the
diaphragm
• Suprarenal glands surrounded by connective tissue containing
considerable perinephric fat
• Suprarenal glands are enclosed by renal fascia by which they are attached to
the crura of the diaphragm
• Each gland has a hilum, where the veins and lymphatic vessels exit the gland;
whereas arteries and nerve enter the glands at multiple sites
• They are separated from the kidneys by a thin septum (part of the renal fascia)
•The medial borders of the suprarenal glands are 4-5 cm apart. In this area,
from right to left, are the IVC, right of the diaphragm, celiac ganglion,
celiac trunk, SMA and the left of the diaphragm.
•Each suprarenal gland has two parts :
~ Suprarenal cortex
~ Suprarenal medulla
SUPRARENAL CORTEX
• Derives from mesoderm
Three zones in suprarenal
cortex
Outer zone / zona
glomerulosa
middle zone /
zona fasciculata
Inner zone /
Zona reticularis
Mineralocorticoid
Glucocorticoid
Androgen
hormone
hormone
hormone
Mineralocorticoid
• Aldosterone is the major
mineralocorticoid.
• It regulates homeostasis
of two mineral ions,
namely sodium ions (Na)
and potassium ions (K),
and helps adjust blood
pressure and blood
volume.
• Aldosterone also
promotes excretion of H+
in the urine; this removal
of acids from the body can
help prevent acidosis
•include cortisol (hydrocortisone),
corticosterone, and cortisone
Glucocorticoid
•Function : Protein breakdown, glucose
formation, lipolysis, resistance to stress,
anti-inflammatory effects, depression of
immune responses
•The major androgen secreted by the
adrenal gland is
dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
Androgen
•Function : promote libido (sex drive)
and are converted into estrogens
(feminizing sex steroids) by other body
tissues; after menopause, when ovarian
secretion of estrogens ceases all female
estrogens come from conversion of
adrenal androgens; stimulate growth of
axillary and pubic hair in boys and girls
and contribute to the prepubertal
growth spurt.
SUPRARENAL MEDULLA
• Derive
from neural crest cells associated
with the sympathetic nervous system
• The cromaffin cells secrete catecholamines /
epinephrine and norepinephrine (NE), also
called adrenaline and noradrenaline,
respectively.
• Unlike the hormones of the adrenal cortex, the
hormones of the adrenal medulla are not
essential for life sincethey only intensify
sympathetic responses in other parts of the body.
Action of catecholamine :
1. Increased heart rate
2. Increased force of cardiac muscle contraction
3. Elevated blood pressure
4. Increased breathing rate
5. Decreased activity in the digestive system
Vascularisation of
suprarenal glands
Suprarenal glands
arteries :
~ Superior suprarenal
arteries
~ Middle suprarenal
arteries
~ Inferior suprarenal
arteries
Venous drainage :
~ Right suprarenal
vein drains into
the IVC
~ Left suprarenal
vein drains into
the left renal
vein
Lymphatic
Suprarenal
Glands
The lymph passes to
the right & left
lumbar lymph nodes
Nerves of the
suprarenal glands
• Celiac plexus
•Abdominopelvic
(greater, lesser and
least) splanchnic nerve
•Myelinated presynaptic
sympathetic fibers mainly
derived from lateral horn of
gray matter of the spinal cord
segments T10-L1 -- transverse
both the paravertebral and the
prevertebral ganglia, without
synapse, to be distributed to
the chromaffin cells in the
suprarenal medulla.
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