Medical Definition of Exocrine

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Exocrine: Pertaining to the secretion of a substance out through a duct. The exocrine glands include the salivary glands, sweat glands and glands within the gastrointestinal tract. Exocrine is as opposed to endocrine which refers to the secretion of a substance (a hormone) into the bloodstream. The exocrine glands are the "glands of external secretion" while the endocrine glands are "glands of internal secretion."

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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