Adrenal gland and paraganglia

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

Revised: 21 January 2016, last major update February 2005

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Hyperplasia [title] adrenal
Cite this page: Hyperplasia. website. Accessed June 23rd, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Usually in carotid bodies (may be due to chronic hypoxemia); associated with high altitude, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, systemic hypertension, cystic fibrosis and cyanotic congenital heart disease
  • May also affect vagal and aorticopulmonary paraganglia
Gross description
  • Weight over 30g
  • Diameter > 5 mm
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Increased number of lobules, some confluent, composed of increased numbers of sustentacular cells and chief cells with hyperchromatic and mildly enlarged nuclei
Differential diagnosis
  • Paraganglioma: usually > 300 mg, have higher density of chief cells