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Suprarenal Glands – Kidneys and Suprarenal Glands

by James Pickering, PhD
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    00:01 Let's just now turn our attention to the suprarenal glands and their anatomy.

    00:06 Well, they have a cortex and they have an inner medulla.

    00:09 We can see that each of the suprarenal glands is going to be positioned on the kind of superomedial aspect of the kidneys.

    00:19 And they are surrounded by a substantial amount of the perinephric fats and the renal fascia, but they are separated from the kidneys by this fibrous tissue, so there is a separation.

    00:31 The left suprarenal gland is triangular in shape It's in contact with the IVC medially and the liver is laterally found. The right suprarenal gland is more semilunar in shape, is related to the stomach spleen and the pancreas.

    00:54 Two parts of the suprarenal glands and they have different embryological origins The outer cortex releases corticosteroids and androgens This essentially causes the kidneys to retain salt and water.

    01:09 That's going to have the effect of increase in the blood pressure.

    01:13 The inner medulla is actually derived from the sympathetic nervous system, it was part of the sympathetic nervous system as it was developed and it releases adrenaline which supports that fight or flight response.

    01:28 So the inner medulla of the suprarenal gland is really the extension of the sympathetic nervous system, so its involved in the fight or flight response.

    01:40 The vasculature of the suprarenal glands is complex.

    01:45 And essentially there are about three arteries that supply each of the suprarenal glands.

    01:52 It's a highly vascular organ because it's endocrine in function, releasing hormones into the blood stream.

    02:01 And in total there is about 50 or 60 tiny branches coming from these three sources we have.

    02:09 If here is our suprarenal gland, we can see here on the superomedial aspect of the kidney and here we can see the aorta. We have three suprarenal arteries: a superior, a middle and an inferior.

    02:25 The superior suprarenal artery comes from what's known as the inferior phrenic artery.

    02:31 The inferior phrenic artery is a paired artery, a left and the right one.

    02:35 One of those paired visceral branches giving rise to superior suprarenal arteries.

    02:41 That goes to supply part of the diaphragm and body wall Along it's path, it gives rise to superior suprarenal arteries that come down and supply the suprarenal glands.

    02:56 We also have middle suprarenal arteries and these can come directly from the aorta.

    03:01 So middle suprarenal arteries coming directly from the aorta.

    03:05 Sometimes, because the coeliac trunk would be located around here these arteries can also come from the coeliac trunk. But the middle suprarenal artery and then we have the renal artery which we know about going towards the kidneys. Along it's course, it can give rise to the inferior suprarenal arteries.

    03:27 And that ascends up towards the suprarenal glands.

    03:30 So they has these three main sources: superior, middle and inferior suprarenal arteries. And together these will give a whole series of small branches.

    03:41 total in 50-60 arteries indicating it's function as an endocrine gland.

    03:49 Venous drainage is a lot more straight forward and is by the way of a large suprarenal veins.

    03:55 And these can drain into the IVC directly or via the renal vein. So we can see the suprarenal vein is draining into the renal vein here which will go into the IVC and then up or it can drain into the inferior vena cava itself.

    04:12 So we can see the vaculature of suprarenal gland is really complex.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Suprarenal Glands – Kidneys and Suprarenal Glands by James Pickering, PhD is from the course Abdomen.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Along the transverse processes of lumbar vertebrae
    2. Junction of ureter and renal pelvis
    3. Crossing the pelvic brim
    4. Entrance to the bladder
    1. inferior phrenic
    2. aorta
    3. renal arteries
    4. coeliac trunk
    1. Medial.
    2. Lateral.
    3. Superior.
    4. Inferior.
    5. Posterior.
    1. Middle suprarenal.
    2. Superior suprarenal.
    3. Inferior suprarenal.
    4. Inferior vesical artery.

    Author of lecture Suprarenal Glands – Kidneys and Suprarenal Glands

     James Pickering, PhD

    James Pickering, PhD


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    Detailed and good. Dr. Pickering is great.
    By Berk B. on 08. April 2018 for Suprarenal Glands – Kidneys and Suprarenal Glands

    Detailed, well thought out and well described. You won't regret listening to Dr. Pickering.