Normal Radiological Anatomy of the Adrenal Glands

The adrenal glands are enclosed within the perinephric fascia and are usually surrounded by a sufficient amount of fat for identification on computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The right adrenal gland lies immediately posterior to the inferior vena cava (IVC). The left adrenal gland lies anteromedial to the upper pole of the left kidney and posterior to the pancreas and splenic vessels. The shape of the adrenals can vary, depending on the orientation of the gland and the level of the image, but the normal adrenal gland has an arrowhead configuration, with a body and medial and lateral limbs. The normal adrenals extend over 2-4 cm in the cranio-caudal direction, and on CT the thickness of the normal adrenal body and limbs does not exceed 10-12 and 5-6 mm, respectively [8].

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