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Chapter 15 - Urinary System

Describe the location of the kidneys relative to the vertebrae and relative to the abdominal cavity.

They lie against the dorsal body wall in a retroperitoneal position in the superior lumbar region.

What is the approximate size of a kidney?

12 CM (5") long, 6 CM (2.5") wide, 3 CM (1") thick.

Where is the renal hilum? What structures enter and leave the kidney at this location?

Renal Hilum - Medial indentation of the kidney.
Ureters, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and nerves enter and leave the renal hilum.

What is the general function of the perirenal fat capsule of a kidney?

Cushions and helps to hold the kidney in place.

What is ptosis and what kind of problem does it create for urine flow?

Ptosis - Where the bladder falls below the normal position.
This can cause the ureters to kink and let urine back up into the kidney tissue.

Name the 3 general regions of a kidney. Which region contains the pyramids and columns?

Outer renal cortex, renal medulla with pyramids and columns, and renal pelvis.

Identify the smaller branches of the renal pelvis.


What is the name for the functional and structural unit of the kidney that creates urine?


What is a glomerus? What does it contain?

Knot of capillaries of nephron where plasma is filtered and filtrate is formed.

Identify the 4 general sections of a nephron (i.e. renal tubule). (Hint: G, PCT, LoH, DCT)

Glomerulus; proximal convoluted tubule; loop of henle; distal convoluted tubule.

Where are the cortical nephrons located? In comparison where are the juxtamedullary nephrons located?

Cortical nephrons are located almost entirely within the cortex. Juxtamedullary nephrons are situated close to the cortex-medulla junction.

What is the general function of collecting ducts?

Receive urine from many nephrons and deliver the final urine product into the calyces and renal pelvis.

Identify the two capillary beds associated with a nephron.

Glomerular and peritubular.

Locate the afferent arteriole and the efferent arteriole relative to the capillary beds.

Afferent arteriole, which arises from a cortical radiate artery is the "feeder vessel", and the efferent arteriole receives blood that has passed through the glomerulus.

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