Calyces are cup-shaped cavities in which urine collects before it passes through the renal pelvis.

Renal arteries supply blood to the kidneys. They arise from the abdominal aorta.

The renal capsule is a tough membrane that protects the kidney from damage.

The renal cortex is the outer part of a kidney which appears granular. It contains the renal corpuscles and parts of the renal tubules.

The renal medulla is the inner part of a kidney that is composed of conical masses of tissue. It contains parts of the nephron loops.

Each kidney has one renal vein thats drains blood filtered by the kidneys into the inferior vena cava.

The renal pelvis is a cavity in the kidney that channels urine to the ureter.

The ureter is a muscular tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.


The nephron is the small function unit of the kidney. It consists of a renal corpuscle and a renal tubule. The renal corpuscle has a saclike structure - the glomerular capsule - which contains a tuft of blood capillaries, called the glomerulus. The blood capillaries in the glomerulus filter fluid, which is the first step in urine formation. The renal tubele leads this fluid away from the glomerular capsule. The tubule consists of three parts where absorption takes place: the proximal convoluted tubule, the nephron loop and the distal convoluted tubule. At end of the tubule the remaining fluid - urine - exits in the collecting duct.

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