Anatomy of the Kidney


Oct 31, 2022

Anatomy of the Kidney

Anatomy of the Kidney

In this video developed by Handwritten Tutorials, the anatomy of the kidney is sketched out.


Video Transcript

Hi, this tutorial is the first in a series about the anatomy of the kidney. Now the main function of the kidneys is to filter blood and produce urine and the anatomy of the kidney is really important because it is an area where structure relates closely to function. In this video, we'll be looking at the kidney from a macroscopic level. But in later videos we'll look at the nephrons and the glomeruli at a microscopic level.

So first of all, I'm going to draw a kidney that's been cut in half so we can see the structures within the kidney. Let's start from the outside moving inward. First of all, we have the renal capsule which is a fibrous coating of the kidney. Within the capsule, there are two major divisions within the kidney. This outside layer, we call the cortex and this inside layer we call the medulla and macroscopically we can see these renal pyramids which are slightly darker than the surrounding cortex and we can also see these renal columns which separate the pyramids from one another. These columns carry blood vessels to the cortex.

The urine is carried in small tubules called collecting ducts which run down through the renal pyramids and then through the renal papilla which is where the pyramids make the minor calyx. This is a minor calyx here. The urine then flows from the minor calyx to the major calyx which in turn empty into the renal pelvis.

The urine in the renal pelvis then flows to the ureter which then flows to the bladder. The last thing we need to look at here is the blood supply to and from the kidney. So we have the renal artery bringing blood to the kidney and the renal vein taking blood from the kidney. The area where the renal artery, the renal vein and the ureter enter the kidney is called the hilum and surrounding the hilum we find perinephric fat.

In the next video, we're going to take a microscopic look at the kidney and check out the nephrons which are the main functional unit of the kidney. For more free tutorials and the PDF of this tutorial visit

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This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

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