Adrenal gland and paraganglia
Congenital anomalies
Adrenal union or adhesion

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 14 January 2016, last major update February 2005

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016,, Inc.
Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: Adrenal union or adhesion. website. Accessed October 22nd, 2018.
Definition / general
Adrenal union (fusion)
  • Adrenal glands are fused above the aorta with butterfly or horseshoe shape, with common connective tissue capsule and intermingling of cells
  • Associated with midline congenital defects, including spinal dysraphism, indeterminate visceral situs, bilateral renal agenesis and Cornelia de Lange syndrome (mental and growth retardation, low set ears, antiverted nostrils, spade-like hands with short tapering fingers)
  • Normal histology
  • Unions also to kidney or liver in 0.4-3.0% of unselected autopsies; common capsule, but no intermingling of cells

Adrenal adhesion
  • Adrenal gland is attached to opposite adrenal gland, but with an intervening connective tissue capsule