While it is well known that unilateral tissue ischemia may result in contralateral damage in some paired organs, there is no universally accepted mechanism to explain why these contralateral changes occur, The aim of the present study was to investigate the ultrastructural and hormonal changes that occur in the contralateral nonischemic adrenal gland after unilateral ischemia of an adrenal gland in a rat model. The animals were divided into four groups of four rats each; namely, a control group which received a sham operation without any ischemic insult, a 2-h ischemic group, a 4-h ischemic group, and an 8-h ischemic group. The left adrenal blood vessels were ligated in all ischemia groups and blood samples were taken for hormonal study 2, 4, and 8h later, after which bilateral adrenalectomy was performed to determine the ultrastructural changes. The plasma concentrations of aldosterone and cortisol were determined by radioimmunoassays. There was an increase in both aldosterone and cortisol levels related to the duration of the ischemia, but the differences among the groups were not statistically significant. Contralateral ultrastructural damage such as heterochromatin in nuclei, mitochondrial degeneration, endoplasmic reticulum cisternal widening, increased lipid droplets, and lysosomes, were demonstrated electron-microscopically after unilateral adrenal ischemia.