I read across one sentence saying:

Iron overload is also common and equally detrimental, affecting parenchymal organs including the liver, heart and pancreas.

What is a parenchymal organ?

I know some online content says that parenchymal tissue is the primary tissue or it is NOT stromal. But what's the definition of a parenchymal organ?

1 Answer 1


Parenchyma is functional tissue, i. e. tissue that has a specific function. Organs are built from functional tissue and connective/structural tissue (stroma). In the kidney this is e. g. Gerota's fascia (stroma) vs. the tissue producing urine (glomerula etc.).

You can look up more combinations of what parts of organs are parenchyma and which are stroma at e. g. Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parenchyma

The NIH definition reads: "Solid organ which consists of parenchyma and connective tissue stroma; the stroma subdivides the parenchyma into lobes, segments, lobules, acini, or cortex and medulla. Examples: lung, liver, spleen, kidney, parathyroid gland." (https://www.semanticscholar.org/topic/Parenchymatous-organ/1409347)

So in short parenchymatous organs are those that have parenchyma and are solid versus those that have a lumen or pouch or similar.

  • then what is not a parenchymal organ?
    – Code42
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 20:25
  • Heart and intestine are examples. They are also called hollow organs, compared to the solid, parenchymatous organs.
    – Thomas
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 20:30
  • But that article said heart is a parenchymal organ, isn't it? cell.com/fulltext/S0092-8674(16)31750-0
    – Code42
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 20:44
  • 1
    That may be a semantical error.
    – Thomas
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 20:48

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