Extramedullary haematopoiesis in the adrenal gland

Extramedullary haematopoiesis in the adrenal gland is a rare physiologic compensatory event in many haematologic diseases.

For a general discussion on this subject, please refer to the main article on extramedullary haematopoiesis.

Epidemiology

Extramedullary haematopoiesis in the adrenal gland is uncommon 2. Instead, it occurs most commonly in the spleen, liver, and lymph nodes and less frequently in the lung, pleura, breast, thymus, small bowel, and central nervous system 1.

Pathology

The adrenal glands might be involved unilaterally or bilaterally 4. Although rare, there are few reports describing extramedullary haematopoiesis in the adrenal gland in patients with thalassaemia 3.

The exact mechanism of extramedullary haematopoiesis in the adrenal gland is unknown. Several hypotheses include 5:

  • adrenal gland has haematopoietic capacity during the fetal period and extramedullary haematopoiesis may develop from primitive rests
  • embolisation of hematopoietic stem cells in adrenal gland may occur
  • there may be chronic hypoxia 4,6
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rID: 51718
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