To understand the functional correlation of the kidney, it becomes important to understand the blood supply of the kidney.
Kidney Blood Supply
Each kidney is supplied by a renal artery that divides in the hilus into several segmental branches, which branch into several interlobar arteries. The interlobar arteries continue in the kidney between the pyramids toward the cortex. At the corticomedullary junction, the interlobar arteries branch into arcuate arteries, which arch over the base of the pyramids and give rise to interlobular arteries. These branches further into the afferent arterioles, which give rise to the capillaries in the glomeruli of renal corpuscles. Efferent arterioles leave the renal corpuscles and form a complex peritubular capillary network around the tubules in the cortex and long, straight capillary vessels or vasa recta in the medulla that loops back to the corticomedullary region. The vasa recta forms loops that are parallel to the loops of Henle. The interstitium is drained by interlobular veins that continue toward the arcuate veins.
Reference – diFIORE’S ATLAS OF HISTOLOGY WITH FUNCTIONAL CORRELATIONS
Kidney Blood Supply Figure – Junqueira’s Basic Histology
Renal Blood Supply – Netter
Renal Artery With Abdominal Aorta
Kidney Gross Anatomy – Gray
Kidney Microstructure – Gray
As expected for an organ specialized to process the blood, the kidney vasculature is large, well-organized, and closely associated with all components of the nephron. Blood vessels of the kidneys are named according to their locations or shapes.
Each kidney’s renal artery divides into two or more segmental arteries at the hilum. Around the renal pelvis, these branches further as the interlobar arteries, which extend between the renal pyramids toward the corticomedullary junction. Here the interlobar arteries divide again to form the arcuate arteries that run in an arc along this junction at the base of each renal pyramid. Smaller interlobular arteries (or cortical radial arteries) radiate from the arcuate arteries, extending deeply into the cortex.
From the interlobular arteries arise the microvascular afferent arterioles, which divide to form a plexus of capillary loops called the glomerulus, each of which is located within a renal corpuscle where the blood is filtered. Blood leaves the glomerular capillaries, not via venules, but via efferent arterioles, which at once branch again to form another capillary network, usually the peritubular capillaries profusely distributed throughout the cortex. From the juxtaglomerular corpuscles near the medulla, efferent arterioles do not form peritubular capillaries, but instead branch repeatedly to form parallel tassel-like bundles of capillary loops called the vasa recta (L. recta, straight) that penetrate deep into the medulla in association with the loops of Henle and collecting ducts. Collectively, the cortex receives over 10 times more blood than the medulla.
Blood leaves the kidney in veins that follow the same courses as arteries and have the same names. The outermost peritubular capillaries and capillaries in the kidney capsule converge into small stellate veins that empty into the interlobular veins.
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