Anatomy of the Kidney

Anatomy of the Kidney

Anatomy of the Kidney A sagittal section of a kidney shows that many branches of the renal artery and renal vein reach inside a kidney (Fig. 16.3a). Removing the blood vessels shows that a kidney has three regions (Fig. 16.3b). The renal cortex is an outer, granulated layer that dips down in between a radially striated inner layer called the renal medulla. The renal medulla consists of coneshaped tissue masses called renal pyramids. The renal pelvis is a central space, or cavity, that is continuous with the ureter.

Anatomy of a Nephron Under higher magnification, the kidney is composed of over one million nephrons, sometimes called renal or kidney tubules (Fig. 16.3c). Each nephron has its own blood supply, including two capillary regions (Fig. 16.4). From the renal artery, an afferent arteriole leads to the glomerulus, a knot of capillaries inside the glomerular capsule. Blood leaving the glomerulus enters the efferent arteriole. The efferent arteriole takes blood to...
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