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Adrenal Gland Volume After Spinal Cord Injury

Lee, Wen-Jeng MD; Wang, Yen-Ho MD; Su, Cheng-Tau MD; Chen, Shyh-Jye MD; Li, Yiu-Wah MD; Huang, Tien-Shang MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: July 2002 - Volume 81 - Issue 7 - p 483-488
Research Articles

Lee WJ, Wang YH, Su CT, Chen SJ, Li YW, Huang TS: Adrenal gland volume after spinal cord injury. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2002;81:483–488.

Objective Spinal cord injury in adult men may result in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction. Atrophy of adrenal glands was speculated in these patients. This study was undertaken to clarify the functional-anatomic correlation between adrenal volume and body surface area in subjects with spinal cord injury with impaired adrenal reserve.

Design Twenty male subjects with chronic spinal cord injury with impaired adrenal reserve were identified by adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation test from a group of 42 subjects. All subjects with spinal cord injury and healthy volunteers underwent computed tomographic imaging with contiguous 3-mm section over adrenal glands for volumetric measurements. Ten pairs of subjects with spinal cord injury and controls with matched height and weight were included in the statistical analysis.

Results Significantly increased relative adrenal volumes were noted among subjects with chronic spinal cord injury and impaired adrenal reserve as compared with the body weight–matched and height-matched control group.

Conclusions Increased relative adrenal volumes were found after chronic spinal cord injury. Hyperplasia of the zona glomerulosa may be the cause of increased relative adrenal volume after chronic spinal cord injury.

From the Departments of Medical Imaging (WJL, SJC, YWL), Rehabilitation (YHW), and Internal Medicine (TSH), National Taiwan University Hospital; and the Department of Radiology, Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

All correspondence and requests for reprint should be addressed to Tien-Shang Huang, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, 7 Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei, Taiwan 100, Republic of China.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.