Renal System

renal system

The kidneys are essentially regulatory organs which maintain the volume and composition of body fluid by filtration of the blood and selective reabsorption or secretion of filtered solutes.

the kidneys are retroperitoneal organs (ie located behind the peritoneum) situated on the posterior wall of the abdomen on each side of the vertebral column, at about the level of the twelfth rib. The left kidney is lightly higher in the abdomen than the right, due to the presence of the liver pushing the right kidney down.

The kidneys take their blood supply directly from the aorta via the renal arteries; blood is returned to the inferior vena cava via the renal veins. Urine (the filtered product containing waste materials and water) excreted from the kidneys passes down the fibromuscular ureters and collects in the bladder. The bladder muscle (the detrusor muscle) is capable of distending to accept urine without increasing the pressure inside; this means that large volumes can be collected (700-1000ml) without high-pressure damage to the renal system occuring.
When urine is passed, the urethral sphincter at the base of the bladder relaxes, the detrusor contracts, and urine is voided via the urethra.

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