The Adrenal Gland

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This volume, The Adrenal Gland, is the second in the Clinical Surveys in Endo- crinology series. Like its predecessor on the pituitary gland, this work is written with one purpose in mind-to view the vast, relevant adrenal literature through a clinician's eyes. The intricate, and often complex, interrelationship between the clinical and research perspectives of adrenology poses a challenge. This is, in part, due to the commonly held belief that the milieux of steroid hormone research and clinical medicine are parallel phenomena, not destined to meet. But the twain do meet, and often with relative ease, when viewed as twin facets of the same gem. The view presented in this work is from the vantage point of the clinical endocrinologist who applies the research literature to understand adre- nal diseases more clearly. Adrenal pathology is arguably the most fascinating of all endocrinopathies. The images of patients suffering from adrenal diseases are of kaleidoscopic quality: the newborn child with ambiguous genitalia, in whom the very first ritual of assigning sex becomes shrouded with uncertainty; the revitalized pa- tient with hitherto undiagnosed Addison's disease, who but for the cognitive powers of the endocrinologist would have ultimately succumbed, undiagnosed; the virilized female with adrenal tumor and its attendant onslaught on the body and mind; the febrile patient with pheochromocytoma masquerading as fever of undetermined origin for months.