Renal Artery – Anatomy of the Kidney (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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    00:01 Alright, so we've looked at 142 liters of blood flow every day.

    00:06 Let's talk about how that blood flow actually enters and exits your kidneys.

    00:11 So blood flows into your kidneys from the renal artery.

    00:14 Alright, so blood comes in via the artery, blood exits through the renal vein.

    00:21 Now these guys are hooked up to the major vessels.

    00:24 The renal artery is connected to the aorta.

    00:26 Remember, that's the major vessel that brings oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

    00:32 The renal vein is hooked up to the inferior vena cava.

    00:36 That's going to take the used of blood back to the heart to be oxygenated again through the lungs.

    00:42 So, renal in, artery.

    00:44 Renal out, renal vein.

    00:47 Good job.

    00:48 So that's the blood supply.

    00:50 Now remember, of the 142 liters of blood that's going in and out these suckers What we have is urine, only one to two liters.

    00:59 But how does that leave? Well, that goes out through the ureters.

    01:02 Each one of the kidneys has a ureter.

    01:05 Now, when that isn't flowing well, we can have all kinds of problems in your kidneys.

    01:11 Now think about those blood supplies.

    01:13 What if somebody has high blood pressure? Well, that blood is just banging through that kidney.

    01:18 That's why people with high blood pressure really risk problems in their kidneys.

    01:23 What if they have a kidney stone, that something breaks loose in the kidney and travels into that ureter, and it blocks off the urine flow.

    01:31 Now you've got stuff flowing, backing up into the kidneys and causing real problems.

    01:36 So see, this is why it's very important that you understand the basic anatomy of the kidney before we move into problems with the kidney.

    01:44 So just for fun, stop right here and see if you can do from the layers from the inside from the renal medulla all the way out.

    01:52 See if you can name those again.

    01:54 Just to help refresh your memory.

    02:00 Okay, let's focus in on the renal artery.

    02:02 You see, we know that blood comes to the kidney through the renal artery.

    02:05 We already have that part down.

    02:07 But here's where it gets super cool, because that renal artery comes off the aorta, and then the renal artery smaller than the aorta, and then the renal artery branches into progressively smaller and smaller blood vessels until the blood reaches the nephrons.

    02:24 Alright, look at that pop out box we have there.

    02:26 That's a nephron.

    02:28 Now we're going to talk more about that.

    02:29 but this is pretty cool what actually goes on here.

    02:33 Now see where we are, are we in the medulla or the cortex? Well, stay tuned because I'm going to tell you.

    02:39 but you've got the medulla and the cortex there.

    02:42 We've got the nephron which is the working unit of the kidney.

    02:45 Now what relationship is the renal artery to the nephron? Keep in mind the renal artery keeps branching into smaller and smaller vessels until it reaches the nephrons.

    02:58 Okay, I have another question for you.

    03:01 What do Egypt and your kidneys have in common? Answer? Pyramids.

    03:07 Right? All right, hang with me.

    03:09 That's nerd humor. I know.

    03:11 But let's take a look at what that means.

    03:13 Renal pyramids are these triangular shaped tissue masses.

    03:17 Now, they're located in the medulla of each of your kidneys, and they're made up of this dense network of nephrons.

    03:24 Okay, now that's a lot of information.

    03:26 Let's back it up a little bit.

    03:28 Take a look at the picture of the kidney.

    03:30 Alright, look, you see the medulla.

    03:33 Then you've got the cortex, and you've got the capsule.

    03:37 See if you can write those structures in on your notes.

    03:40 Just as a way to use spaced repetition in practice in your brain.

    03:44 That will help you remember it more as we go through other content.

    03:47 Alright, so they have pyramids, because they're triangle shaped.

    03:52 They're in the medulla and they're made up of a dense network of nephrons.

    03:57 Now we introduced you again to the nephron in the previous slide.

    04:01 We're gonna break that down a little bit more.

    04:03 But I want you to keep in mind, the structures that we have here and what their job is.

    04:08 So in the cortex, you also have nephrons of the kidney.

    04:12 Now they're perfused by the renal artery arterioles.

    04:15 Okay, renal artery arterioles.

    04:19 What does that mean? Well, you know that blood comes into the kidney by the renal artery.

    04:24 Remember the renal artery branches off the aorta.

    04:27 Arterioles are just smaller branches of that renal artery.

    04:33 So renal artery down to the arterioles.

    04:36 We have the same thing with the renal vein venules.

    04:39 So see, we see the numbers for you.

    04:41 They're showing up on the nephron.

    04:42 Just to kind of give you another frame of reference of how we've represented there.

    04:46 You also have the glomerulus capillaries.

    04:49 Okay, so in the renal cortex, this is where the nephrons of the kidneys are perfused by the blood vessels, the renal artery arterioles, the renal vein venules and the glomerular capillaries.

    05:03 Now this is where it gets really fun.

    05:05 But before we go forward, I just want you to have a frame of reference on what we're talking about again.

    05:11 you have the artery, and the smaller versions of that the arterioles, the veins, the smaller versions the venules and the glomerular capillaries which are very small.

    05:23 Another thing that happens in the renal cortex is the production of erythropoietin.

    05:27 Now, that one is a killer to spell.

    05:30 But what it is, is it's a hormone.

    05:33 and this hormone is necessary for the synthesis of new red blood cells.

    05:38 See, this is why people in renal failure have very low red blood cell counts.

    05:44 They're anemic and really, really tired.

    05:47 Because they don't have red blood cells.

    05:49 They don't have enough oxygen being to the going perfuse to all the rest of their tissues.

    05:55 So people with kidney problems don't have enough erythropoietien and so they have low red blood cell counts.

    06:03 So erythropoietin is a killer if you're trying to spell it, but it's a super important hormone in your body.

    06:10 Now, the reason we're talking about it here is because that happens in the cortex of your kidneys.

    06:17 Now the nephron.

    06:19 I have been so excited to get to this part.

    06:21 This is the functional unit of the kidney.

    06:24 Now, each one of your kidneys has about a million nephrons.

    06:30 Now nephron stretch from the cortex to the medulla.

    06:33 Remember, I asked you is a nephron in the cortex or the medulla? Yeah, that's like a nursing school trick question.

    06:40 It's in both.

    06:42 Now, the medulla is in the middle the cortex is on the outer side of the kidney.

    06:47 But the nephron stretches into both.

    06:50 There's three main parts of a nephron.

    06:52 Now, I've got on the slide, the distal convoluted tubule and the proximal convoluted tubule.

    06:57 We'll talk more about those in other videos.

    07:00 What I want you to focus on is the glomerulus.

    07:03 So we're going to blow that up big for you.

    07:05 Now the glomerulus is an amazing part of your nephron.

    07:09 You have the Bowman's capsule, and then the actual glomerulus is in the center.

    07:14 Now, we'll talk about what the glomerulus is.

    07:16 It's just this tangle of capillaries, and it's surrounded by Bowman's capsule.

    07:22 So again, I want you to make sure that you have this solid before we keep moving forward.

    07:27 Three main parts of the nephron that stretches from the cortex and the medulla.

    07:33 You've got the DCT, the PCT, and the glomerulus.

    07:39 So let's look at the glomerulus that's surrounded by Bowman's capsule.

    07:43 You see them both highlighted there.

    07:45 The glomerulus is just this tangle of capillaries.

    07:48 They're really, really small, but they're really, really powerful.

    07:52 So when blood enters into the glomerulus - remember we talked about blood supply.

    07:57 The aorta, then the renal artery, then down to the arterioles you've got the blood flowing into this glomerulus at the rate of your blood pressure.

    08:06 Now if that blood pressure is just hammering that glomerulus you're gonna start to have some real renal damage.

    08:12 But let's say for now we're talking about a healthy kidney with a normal blood pressure.

    08:17 So that blood pressure is going to push that blood into the glomerulus at the same force as your blood pressure is and it will force water and solutes out of the capillaries and into the lumen of the Bowman's capsule.

    08:30 Okay, so got it.

    08:32 You see the blood supply that goes in, it gets forced into the glomerulus and the wastes and solute in water gets forced out of the capillaries into the Bowman's capsule.

    08:43 So we're talking about water, salts, amino acids and waste that make it from the glomerulus into the capsule, we call that filtrate.

    08:52 Alright, so make yourself a note on the side filtrate is and see what you can recall.

    08:58 You don't have to necessarily list all those things which you want to keep in mind, it's going to be water, it's going to be solutes.

    09:05 Specifically, amino acids and waste products.

    09:09 Alright, so you've got that kind of as a frame of reference.

    09:11 So we've got blood entering the glomerulus, right.

    09:16 By the force of our blood pressure, then it gets pushed out of those capillaries into Bowman's capsule.

    09:23 Now the filtrate is filtered from the blood into the tubules.

    09:26 Remember, we talked about those, the PCT and the DCT.

    09:30 That's why this first stage is called filtration.

    09:33 Now you think about your kidneys filtering things.

    09:36 This is what we're talking about, it's what happens in the glomerulus.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Renal Artery – Anatomy of the Kidney (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN is from the course Review: Anatomy and Physiology of the Renal and Urinary System (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Triangle-shaped
    2. Located in the medulla of the kidney
    3. Made up of dense networks of nephrons
    4. Located in the cortex of the kidney
    5. Square-shaped
    1. Renal artery arterioles
    2. Renal vein venules
    3. Glomerular capillaries
    4. Loop of Henle
    5. Collecting duct
    1. A hormone that aids in the production of RBCs
    2. A hormone that aids in the destruction of RBCs
    3. A hormone that stimulates the production of urine
    4. A hormone that aids in removing waste from the body
    1. Roughly 1,000,000
    2. Roughly 100
    3. Roughly 100,000
    4. Roughly 1,000
    1. Water
    2. Salts
    3. Amino acids
    4. Ketones
    5. Glucose

    Author of lecture Renal Artery – Anatomy of the Kidney (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

    Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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