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In mammals, the adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are the triangle-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys; their name indicates that position (ad-, "near" or "at" + -renes, "kidneys"). They are chiefly responsible for regulating the stress response through the synthesis of corticosteroids and catecholamines, including cortisol and adrenaline.
Anatomy and function
Anatomically, the adrenal glands are located in the thoracic abdomen situated atop the kidneys, specifically on their anterosuperior aspect. In humans, the adrenal glands are found at the level of the 12th thoracic vertebra and receive their blood supply from the adrenal arteries.
The adrenal gland is separated into two distinct structures, both of which receive regulatory input from the nervous system:
Arteries and veins
Although variations of the blood supply to the adrenal glands (and indeed the kidneys themselves) are common, there are usually three arteries that supply each adrenal gland:
Venous drainage of the adrenal glands is achieved via the suprarenal veins:
The suprarenal veins receive blood may form anastomoses with the inferior phrenic veins.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Adrenal_gland". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|