organ of Zuckerkandl

The organ of Zuckerkandl comprises of a small mass of chromaffin cells derived from neural crest located along the aorta, beginning cranial to the superior mesenteric artery or renal arteries and extending to the level of the aortic bifurcation or just beyond. The highest concentration is typically seen at the origin of the inferior mesenteric artery.


Its physiological role is thought to be of greatest importance during the early gestational period as a homeostatic regulator of blood pressure, secreting catecholamines into the fetal circulation. The organ regresses at the end of gestation and following birth to form the aorticosympathetic group of the adult paraganglia.

Radiographic features

The organs of Zuckerkandl are not often visualized radiologically unless they are involved in a pathologic process, including:

History and etymology

It was first described in 1901 by Emil Zuckerkandl (1849-1910) , a professor of anatomy at the University of Vienna.

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