Knowing kidney anatomy can help you understand kidney function more closely. The reason is, each part of the kidneys has their respective roles in supporting kidney function for the body. Check out the following explanation about kidney anatomy and how it works.

Kidney is a pair of organs that look like beans with a size approximately the size of a fist. The kidneys are located in the back of the abdominal cavity or lower back area, one to the right of the spine and the other to the left.

Getting to Know Kidney Anatomy

Kidney function is classified as very heavy and important for the human body, including filtering blood, removing metabolic waste in the form of urine, controlling body fluid balance, and regulating the body’s salt or electrolyte balance.

Just like other organs, kidney anatomy can describe the performance of each part of the kidney in carrying out its functions.

Kidney Anatomy and How It Works

Right kidney with left kidney is not located at the exact same height because the abdominal cavity is asymmetrical. On the right side of the stomach there is a liver, so the position of the right kidney is lower than the left kidney. The size of the right kidney is also smaller than the left kidney.

Adult male kidneys measure approximately 11 cm, while adult female kidneys measure 10 cm. Although small in size, the kidney consists of many parts that play a large role in carrying out its functions. Anatomically, there are four main parts that support kidney function, namely:


Nephron is one of the important parts of the kidneys which is responsible for filtering the blood, then takes the nutrients and removes the waste products from its metabolism.

There are about 1 million nephrons in each kidney. Each nephron consists of a structure that contains the renal corpus (malpigi body) and renal tubule. More specifically, the nephron is composed of glomerulus, bowman capsule, proximal tubule tubules, henle bends and distal tubule tubules.

In the nephron, blood will flow into the renal corpus. After that, the protein in the blood will be absorbed by the glomerulus, while the remaining fluid will be channeled into the collecting ducts or collective ducts. Then, some will be absorbed back into the blood, including water, sugar and electrolytes.

Renal cortex or renal cortex

The renal cortex is located on the outside of the kidney. This section is surrounded by a layer of fatty tissue known as renal capsules or kidney capsules. The renal cortex and capsule function to protect the inner structure of the kidney.

Medulla renalis or kidney marrow

Renal medulla is soft tissue found in the kidneys. Inside there is a kidney pyramid (pyramidal renal) and duct collectivus, is a way for filtered fluid to come out of the nephron to the next renal anatomical structure, the renal pelvis.

Renal pelvis or renal pelvis

The renal pelvis is the innermost part of the kidney. The pelvic renal looks like a funnel and acts as a water channel from the kidneys to the bladder.

Composed of renal calix (renal kalises), the renal pelvis becomes a storage area for urine before being passed into the bladder through the ureter.

Given its function which is very important for the body, it is fitting for you to maintain kidney health. Inadequate daily water needs, consumption of healthy foods that include vegetables, fruits and grains, maintain ideal body weight, and avoid smoking and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Don’t forget, exercise regularly and avoid taking drugs outside of the doctor’s recommendation.

Categories: Healthy


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