Organ of Zuckerkandl

The organ of Zuckerkandl is a chromaffin body derived from neural crest located at the bifurcation of the aorta or at the origin of the inferior mesenteric artery. 

It can be the source of a paraganglioma.

It is a para-aortic body that usually arises near the abdominal aorta.

It is a diffuse group of neuroendocrine sympathetic fibers.

The chromaffin cells manufacture catecholamines.

The Organs of Zuckerkandl harbor the potential for deadly paragangliomas. 

Paragangliomas are one of the surgical causes of hypertension.

Its role is thought to be of greatest during the early gestational period as a homeostatic regulator of blood pressure, secreting catecholamines into the fetal circulation.

The organ itself regresses in the late third trimester and following birth to form the aorticosympathetic group of the adult paraganglia.

The organ of Zuckerkandl is  a common extra-adrenal site of pheochromocytoma though the most common extra-adrenal site is in the superior para-aortic region between the diaphragm and lower renal poles.

Extra-adrenal tumors account for around 25% of all cases of pheochromocytoma.

In addition to its endocrine effects, it can also cause obstructive pathology.

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