COPEDS provides evaluation and treatment of adrenal disorders in children. Adrenal glands are small, triangular glands located on top of each kidney (one on each side) which consist of two parts: the outer region called the adrenal cortex and the inner region called the adrenal medulla. The two parts of the adrenal glands, i.e. the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla perform separate functions. The adrenal cortex produces glucocorticoids (i.e., cortisol), mineralocorticoids (i.e. aldosterone) and androgens (DHEA and androstendione). Cortisol, a hormone essential for life has important effects on heart, blood pressure, immunity, metabolism, bone and nervous system. Both cortisol deficiency and overproduction will cause significant problems. Aldosterone is necessary for fluid and electrolyte (salt) balance and its excess may have clinical consequences. The adrenal androgen hormones cause problems mainly when overproduction occurs in girls. The medulla is responsible for producing epinephrine and norepinephrine (adrenaline) with effects on blood pressure, heart and metabolism. Excess of medulla function will cause problems.
Adrenal glands disorders treated at COPEDS:
- Adrenal Insufficiency (deficiency in secretion, especially cortisol, caused by Addison's Disease or Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia CAH)
- Adrenal Gland Hyperactivity (Cushing's Syndrome)
- Adrenal Tumors With Hormone Overproduction mainly caused by adrenal tumors (pheochromocytoma, aldosteronoma, androgen-producing tumors)