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Definition of Adrenal cortex

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Adrenal cortex: The outer portion of the adrenal gland located on top of each kidney. The adrenal cortex produces steroid hormones which regulate carbohydrate and fat metabolism and mineralocorticoid hormones which regulate salt and water balance in the body.

Underfunction of the adrenal cortex results in Addison disease while overfunction occurs in the adrenogenital syndrome and in Cushing syndrome.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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