Adrenal congestion is considered to possibly precede non-traumatic adrenal hemorrhage 1, and refers to adrenal gland thickening and peri-adrenal fat stranding on imaging, which are nonspecific findings. However, more research is needed to elucidate this entity.
A possible explanation for adrenal congestion is the limited capacity of the single central adrenal vein to drain the adrenal gland when there is hypaeremia caused by physiologic stress. With physiological stress, there is release of ACTH and catecholamines, which serve to increase arterial blood flow to the adrenal glands via three main adrenal arteries 1,2.
- 1. Tan GX, Sutherland T. Adrenal congestion preceding adrenal hemorrhage on CT imaging: a case series. (2016) Abdominal radiology (New York). 41 (2): 303-10. doi:10.1007/s00261-015-0575-9 - Pubmed
- 2. Kawashima A, Sandler CM, Ernst RD, et al. Imaging of nontraumatic hemorrhage of the adrenal gland. (1999) Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. 19 (4): 949-63. doi:10.1148/radiographics.19.4.g99jl13949 - Pubmed