Fetal and maternal adrenals in human pregnancy

William E. Rainey, Khurram S. Rehman, Bruce R. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human pregnancy is marked by alterations in several endocrine systems-perhaps most notably, the striking increase in steroid hormone production by the adrenals of the fetus and mother. Morphologically and physiologically, the human fetal adrenal glands are remarkable organs. In proportion to the adult organs, the adrenal cortex is the largest organ of the fetus. At term, they produce more steroid and weigh the same as adrenal glands of the adult. Much of the steroid that is released by the fetal and maternal adrenals during pregnancy is the sulfated form of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA-S), which is used by the placenta to produce estrogens. Herein, we discuss the physiologic and pathophysiologic hormonal changes of the fetal and maternal adrenals during the course of pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-835
Number of pages19
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Fetal and maternal adrenals in human pregnancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this