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Anatomy Of The Kidneys

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Looking Into The Main Functions


The kidneys are very important because it is the main organ responsible for excreting wastes primarily in the urinary system. They have different functions especially those involving regulation of body processes. It is a very important part of the urinary system because it helps in maintaining the homeostasis of the body due to the fact that it maintains acid-base balance together with its ability to regulate fluids, electrolytes, and even your blood pressure. The kidneys are known to be the main filters of the blood when it comes to waste removal. These wastes are eventually sent to the urinary bladder so that they can be excreted from the body in the form of urine. The most common wastes excreted by the kidneys include urea and ammonia.

 Aside from waste removal, the kidneys are also responsible for the reabsorption of materials back into the body. You must remember that not all the materials must be excreted by the body. Sometimes, especially in conditions where our body needs increased supply of energy, there is a need of reabsorption primarily of water, amino acids and even glucose. In cases where our body is already prone to dehydration, the kidneys work by reabsorbing a huge percentage of water from the urine. In times when our body is deprived of energy source, the kidneys work in compensation as well by reabsorbing the right amount of glucose that our body needs. As you may have noticed, the kidneys actually very significant when it comes to helping the body compensate back to its homeostasis especially during times when  body encounter stress and other unusual conditions.


Aside from the main functions of regulation the kidneys are also responsible for the secretion of important hormones in the body. These hormones include erythropoietin, rennin and calcitriol. Erythropoietin is very essential as it stimulates the body’s production of blood cells. It ensures that the body is able to get adequate blood supply to maintain its functioning very well. Renin is an important component of the rennin angiotensin aldosterone system that is mainly responsible for controlling fluids and electrolytes in the body. This is an automatic mechanism that responds to the needs of the body very well. Lastly, calcitriol is an important hormone for bone formation and maintenance of its strength and integrity.

The Blood Supply Of The Kidneys

Renal Circulation

The kidneys receive adequate blood supply by renal arteries and such blood flowing through kidneys goes back to the lungs for oxygenation by means of the renal veins.  It must be properly ensured that the kidneys will always receive adequate oxygenated blood for it to be able to perform its normal functioning.

The Location Of The Kidneys

Location of the kidneys

When it comes to the location of the kidneys, it is known that it is found on the abdominal cavity. Its lies in a retroperitoneal position on the paravertebral gutter of the abdominal cavity. There are two kidneys as what you may know and they are distributed to each side portion of the spine. There is just some difference when it comes to the alignment of the two kidneys because the right kidney is lower than the left one. This is because of the position occupied by the kidneys in the right portion of the abdomen. It somehow pushes the right kidney downward thus giving it a lower position as compared to the left kidney.

The right kidney is found under the diaphragm just at the posterior portion of the liver. The left kidney on the other hand, is found also under the diaphragm and this time, it is posterior in position near the spleen. Specifically, the left kidney is located at the level of T12 to L3. It is also more slightly medial in location as compared to the right kidney. On the other hand, the right kidney is located near the boundaries of the eleventh and twelfth ribs. Both the left and the right kidney are surrounded by layers of fat known as renal fascia. These serve to protect the kidneys from external pressures that can cause damage to them. When it comes to weight, every adult kidney is known to weigh a maximum of 170 grams in males and 155 grams in females.

The Kidney Structure


The kidney is known for its bean like shape with both concave and convex surfaces. It measures about 14 cm in length,6 cm in thickness and lastly about 4 cm when it comes to thickness. There is a certain point known as the renal hilum where the renal artery enters the kidneys. As what have been stated, the renal artery is actually the pathway of oxygenated blood to the kidneys. This renal hilum is also the point where the renal vein exits. Again, the renal vein is the pathway of the blood from as it flows from the kidneys back to the heart. The kidney also has its renal capsule which is surrounded by adequate amount of fascia for its protection.

There are a lot of organs that can be found near the kidneys. These organs include the liver located on the right lower abdominal cavity, the spleen found on the left abdominal cavity, and even the abdominal contents on the top portion. This means that the kidneys are truly found in a sensitive location that is why it should be properly protected by its surrounding fascia.

The main components of the kidneys are made up of two primary parts. These are the renal cortex medulla. The cortex is the superficial part while the renal medulla is the part that lies deeper in the kidneys. These structures form the renal pyramid which takes the form of renal lobes. The renal columns are projections of the cortex that can be located between the renal pyramids. The cortex and the renal medulla are eventually lined with nephrons. The nephrons are the building blocks of the kidneys that are used to produce urine. The nephron is further composed of renal corpuscle that can be found in the cortex. The renal corpuscle functions as a filter which is eventually followed by the renal tubule connecting the superficial cortex to the deep pyramids of medulla. These are some of the main components that make up the essential filtering organ of the body known as the kidneys.

Anatomy Of The Heart

Anatomy Of The Uterus

Anatomy Of The Gall Bladder

Anatomy Of The Small Intestine

Anatomy Of the Stomach

Anatomy Of The Spleen

Anatomy Of Lungs

Anatomy Of The Back

Anatomy Of The Shoulder

Anatomy Of The Neck

Anatomy Of The Foot

Anatomy Of The Arm



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