The kidney works to maintain fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance by eliminating nitrogenous and other metabolic waste products from the body through the urinary system. Another key function of the kidney is to help maintain blood pressure, produce erythropoietin and activate vitamin D. The proper functioning of the kidney is impaired when there is loss of nephrons. The nephron is the functional unit of the kidney. When normal kidney function is greatly impaired, then dialysis becomes necessary. Continue reading
Angiomyolipoma (AML) is the most common benign tumour of the kidney and are composed of blood vessels, smooth muscle cells and fat cells. Angiomyolipoma are strongly associated with the genetic disease tuberous sclerosis, in which most individuals will have several angiomyolipoma affecting both kidneys. They are also commonly found in women with the rare lung disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis. Angiomyolipoma are less commonly found in the liver and rarely in other organs. Whether associated with these diseases or sporadic, angiomyolipoma are caused by mutations in either the TSC1 or TSC2 genes, which govern cell growth and proliferation. Continue reading
How are adrenal cortical cancers staged?
In addition to diagnosing adrenal cortical cancers, the radiographic imaging performed also helps to determine the stage of the patient. According to the seventh edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), which defines cancer staging systems, patients with adrenal cortical cancer are divided into one of four stages. Please note that there is no AJCC staging system for medullary adrenal carcinoma. Continue reading
What are the adrenal glands?
The adrenal glands are small glands that are located just above each kidney (they are sometimes called the suprarenal glands for that reason). The adrenal glands are surrounded by a layer of connective tissue and a layer of fat. They are triangular in shape and consist of several distinct parts: Continue reading