Lab Tests Online - Explaining Pathology

Glossary

Adrenal gland


Also known as: Suprarenal gland

Triangular endocrine, or ductless, hormone-secreting glands, with one situated above each kidney. There are two functional portions or the adrenal gland.

The adrenal cortex is the outer part of the gland and manufactures and secretes sex hormones (androgens), glucocorticosteroids (e.g. cortisol) and mineralocorticosteroids (e.g. aldosterone). This portion of the gland is particularly important for the maintenance of salt and water balance in the body. The inner part and the gland is called the medulla and it manufactures and secretes catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline) which are normally produced under very stressful circumstances.