The suprarenal glands of man weigh only about 4 Gm. each, yet this small amount of tissue is essential to life. Survival after complete ablation of the glands is brief at best. Little wonder, then, that these structures have challenged the most careful attention of investigators. The glands are innervated by way of the splanchnics, and exhibit one of the few instances of the presence of true secretory nerve fibers. They possess a rich blood supply, receiving more blood per gram-minute than any other tissue of the body.4 These facts by themselves suggest a prominent physiologic rôle, as was first recognized three quarters of a century ago by Addison in the description of the disease that bears his name and by Brown-Séquard in his experimental studies.
Investigation of the suprarenals since that day has brought forth a series of unexpected and often perplexing facts. The isolation of the highly
SUPRARENAL FUNCTION. JAMA. 1926;87(9):673. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680090051017
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