The Urinary System

  • Waste materials are routed to the specialized capillaries of the kidneys (glomeruli) for removal from the body. Fluid, which diffuses into the renal corpuscle along with waste and metabolites, is reabsorbed through the tubule portion of the nephron, the functional unit of the kidney.
  • The kidneys are located retroperitoneally in each flank, the right kidney slightly lower than the left. The internal anatomy of the kidney is arranged into pyramids (made up of tubular elements) and cortex (composed of the glomeruli). The tubules open into the calyces and renal pelvis, from which the ureter carries concentrated urine to the bladder.
  • Renal disease can take many forms and can affect many other organ systems; loss of renal function requires frequent dialysis and/or renal transplantation. Total lack of renal function is incompatible with life.

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