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Facts about kidney anatomy
By pradipta on February 5, 2010
The kidneys are among the most vital organs of the body. They are bean-shaped organ and are dark-red in color. The location of the kidneys is at the middle of the back, just down to the rib cage, one on either side of the spine. It constitutes about 0.5 percent of the total human body weight. The work of kidney is the removal of wastage from our body, stimulation the production of RBC (red blood cells) and regulating blood pressure of the body.
Nephrons: They are the basic composition of the kidney. Each kidney constitutes of one million to two million nephrons. Their main tasks are to filter and purify the blood and remove waste products from our body. The nephron consists of Bowman’s capsule, Glomerulus, Proximal convoluted tubule, loop of Henle, distal convoluted tubule and collecting duct.
One part of the kidney is convex (bulging outwards) while another part is a conclave (sunken/ indented). Renal pelvis is a cavity that is attached to the sunken part of the kidney. It extends to the ureter.
Renal Capsule: It is a transparent membrane, which encloses each kidney. It protects the kidney from infection and disturbance.
Renal Cortex: It is the light outer portion of the kidney. It is the location in between the renal capsule and renal medulla.
Renal Medulla: Renal medulla is the darker, innermost part of the kidney. It is again split up into a number of cone-shaped sections called renal pyramids. The maintenance of balance of salt and water in the blood is the work of the renal medulla.
Renal pyramids: These are cone-shaped tissues. It is present in the renal medulla of the kidney. Renal medulla has 8 to 18 of these pyramids.
Renal Columns: It is the area in between the pyramids. It is the medullary extension of renal cortex in between the pyramids which consists of lines of blood vessels and urinary tubes.
Blood vessels: The kidney is full of blood vessels, which are an integral part in the smooth functioning of the kidney. In every single function of kidney, blood is required; hence, huge numbers of blood cells are present for effective functioning of kidney.
Kidney, a vital organ of our body, is capable of performing complex and essential tasks. If diseases like nephritis, nephropathy, chronic renal insufficiency, Diabetic nephropathy (kidney failure), etc. affect the kidneys it can hamper the capability of handling these tasks.