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Georgia Regents Medical Center Multi-Disciplinary Adrenal Center

Anatomy of the adrenal glands:
Adrenal glands, which are also called suprarenal glands, are small, triangular glands located on top of both kidneys. An adrenal gland is made of two parts: the outer region is called the adrenal cortex and the inner region is called the adrenal medulla.

Function of the adrenal glands:
The adrenal glands work interactively with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the following process:

  • The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormones, which stimulate the pituitary gland.
  • The pituitary gland, in turn, produces corticotropin hormones, which stimulates the adrenal glands to produce corticosteroid hormones.

Both parts of the adrenal glands - the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla - perform very separate functions.