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A simple technique for identifying the adrenal glands at necropsy.
  1. M Shimizu,
  2. T Sakurai,
  3. Y Tadaoka
  1. Department of Pathology, Kawasaki Medical School, Okayama, Japan.


    There is no detailed and practical description of how to identify the adrenal glands at necropsy. A simple technique is described, based on anatomical location. After removing the aorta by the Rokitansky method, the inferior vena cava is opened. The orifice of the right adrenal vein is identified just above the right renal vein, and a probe is inserted into it as a marker. The right adrenal gland is identified at the centre above the line of the probe after separation of the diaphragm, which is attached to the liver. The left adrenal vein arises as the first bifurcation of the left renal vein after its origin from the inferior vena cava. A probe is inserted into it and the vein is opened along the probe. The left adrenal gland is identified at the left side of the left adrenal vein, embedded in fat. This method is also useful in cases with severe adhesion, fibrosis, or metastases.

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