Anatomy & Physiology of Kidney

The kidneys are paired retroperitoneal structures, found sideways the posterior muscular wall of the abdominal cavity. The left kidney is located marginally more superior than the right kidney due to the larger size of the liver on the right side of the body. The upper poles are typically oriented more medially and posteriorly than the lower poles. When compare to the other abdominal organs, the kidneys are lie behind the peritoneum that lines the abdominal cavity and are thus considered to be retroperitoneal organs. The ribs and muscles of the back protect the kidneys from external injury.

The kidneys serve significant functions, including filtration and excretion of metabolic waste products, regulation of necessary electrolytes, fluid, and acid-base balance and stimulation of red blood cell production. They also assist to regulate blood pressure via the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, regulating reabsorption of water and upholding intravascular volume. The kidneys also reabsorb glucose and amino acids and have hormonal functions thru erythropoietin, calcitriol and activation of vitamin D.

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