Author(s): Sushma Korukonda1, Jami Sagar Prusti2, Purna Chandra Maharana3
The suprarenal glands are located just above the kidneys from their position the name is derived. They have no other relation to the kidneys, either functionally or developmentally. Their development is taken up at this place because of their intimate embryological relation to the autonomic nervous system. The relative prominence of the foetal adrenal in comparison to other abdominal viscera is accounted for by a mass of cells called the foetal zone between the area, which is later to become the adult cortex and the medulla. The aim of the study is to evaluate the morphometric parameters of human foetal suprarenal gland - shape, length, breadth, thickness and weight and to compare these parameters between the right and left sides to study the relation between the foetal adrenal gland size and kidney size and the relation between the foetal adrenal weight and body weight.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The material for the study consisted of 50 human foetal specimens from 9th to 38th week of gestational age. Morphometric measurements including length, breadth, thickness, weight were taken from the right and left suprarenal glands in each specimen and to the results obtained Student’s unpaired t-test was applied and data was analysed using GraphPad Prism 5.0 (free trial version).
In the 18th week foetus, the right suprarenal gland acquired pyramidal and left suprarenal gland assumed semilunar shape and were yellowish in colour. There was a steady increase in the parameters from 9th to 38th week. A statistically significant difference was obtained for the length, breadth and weight between the right and left suprarenal glands with a ‘p’ value less than 0.05.
It was observed in the present study that the left gland measured more weight than the right throughout the gestational ages from 9th week to 38th week confirming the reports of earlier authors. The suprarenal glands at term weighed 1/3rd the weight of the kidney. The suprarenal glands are relatively very large at birth and constitute 0.2% of the entire body weight compared with 0.01% in the adult.