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Kathleen's Renal I > Elements of Renal Function > Flashcards

Flashcards in Elements of Renal Function Deck (21):

Identify the different segments of the nephron and specify their locations within the renal cortex and/or medulla.

Glomerulus - cortex
Bowman's Capsule - cortex
PCT - cortex
Descending LOH - cortex into medulla
Ascending LOH - medulla into cortex
DCT - cortex
Collecting duct - cortex


Describe the tubular segments through which ultrafiltrate flows after it is formed at Bowman’s capsule to when it enters the renal pelvis.

Filtrate flows through:
Bowman's capsule
straight proximal tubule
descending thin limb of LOH
Ascending thin limb of LOH
Ascending thick limb of LOH
Macula densa
Cortical collecting duct
Medullary connecting duct


List in sequence the arteriolar and capillary elements of the renal microcirculation. Describe the anatomical relationships of these vessels to the nephron segments.

afferent arteriole - affects GFR
glomerular capillaries - does filtration
efferent arteriole - affects GFR
peritubular capillaries - full of blood sludge, helps maintain osmotic gradient. Usually has low hydrostatic pressure.

Interlobular vein
arcuate vein
interlobar vein
renal vein


Explain the clearance principle and given values for all variables, use the clearance equation for calculating renal clearance of a substance to estimate GFR with accurate units.

Clearance: the volume of plasma from which a substance is completely removed (cleared) by the kidneys in a given time period
Units are volume/time, e.g. ml/min, l/hr, etc.

Describes how effectively the kidneys remove a substance from the bloodstream and excrete it in the urine; different substances have different clearances.

Denoted by C=UV/P

Measurement of GFR relies on clearance!


How is excretion calculated?

Denoted by UV

Or, urinary excretion = amt filtered -amt reabsorbed + amt secreted


Why is GFR important?

GFR is an index of functioning renal mass
- determined by starling forces in the glomerulus and glomerular capillary permeability

Typically moderated by changes in glomerular hydrostatic pressure mediated by changes in arteriolar resistance

In pathology, usu due to lost permeability due to lost surface area


What is filtration fraction?

Filtration fraction is the part of the renal plasma flow (RPF) that is filtered into the tubules
Normally about 20% (GFR/RPF)

FF changes with ultrafiltration pressure
- increased FF --> increased oncotic pressure/blood-sludginess --> increased tubular fluid resorption


What are the properies of inulin?

Achieves stable plasma concentration
Freely filtered at glomerulus
Not resorbed, secreted, synthesized or metabolized by the kidney

Gold standard for measuring GFR
- must be infused via IV


What are the properties of creatinine?

Produced endogenously
Secreted in proximal tubule

Ucreatinine overestimated due to secretion in PCT
Blood substances can overestimate Pcreatinine

Good for long term monitoring of GFR
- Pcreatinine is inversely proportional to GFR
- some differences occur, YMMV


Predict how changes in filtration, reabsorption, or secretion will affect renal excretion of each compound.

less filtration = less reabsorption and secretion
more filtration = more reabsorption and secretion, depending on mechanism

excretion< filtration = reabsorption
excretion> filtration = secretion


What is reabsorption?

Reabsorption: net rate of reabsorption or secretion of a substance = difference between glomerular filtration and urinary excretion
-assuming no metabolism or production by kidneys


What are the limitations of inulin and creatine clearances as measures of GFR?

Creatine: endogenous substance, basal rates will vary depending on individual

Overestimation can occur:
creatinine secretion in PCT - overestimate Ucreatinine
substances in blood cause overestimation of Pcreatinine

Inulin is not endogenous, and needs IV infusion


Describe and be able to interpret a graph explaining the relationship between GFR and urinary excretion of BUN and creatinine vs. their serum concentration.

Urea: produced in liver, filtered by kidney
- it is reabsorbed> secreted
- ~40% of filtered urea is excreted

Prerenal >20:1
BUN reabsorption is increased.
BUN is disproportionately elevated relative to creatinine in serum.
Reduced renal perfusion due to hypovolemia

Can be postrenal/obstruction
BUN reabsorption in normal limits

Intrarenal <10:1
Renal damage = reduced reabsorption of BUN
Lower BUN/Cr ratio


What is PAH and what is it's effect?

Para-aminohippuric acid
- freely filtered
- secreted in PCT
- completed cleared from plasma of peritubular capillaries when plasma PAH conc. is low


What should creatine clearance reflect?

As GFR falls, Cr clearance should fall with it
- serum Cr should rise as a consequence

- IRL, serum Cr climbs precipitously/exponentially as renal fxn drops below 40%
- fairly stable otherwise

Plasma Cr doesn't always reflect glomerular disease or GFR


What is glomerular filtration?

Filtration of plasma from glomerular capillaries into Bowman’s capsule


What is tubular reabsorption?

Transfer of substances from tubular lumen to peritubular capillaries


What is tubular secretion?

Transfer of substances from peritubular capillaries to tubular lumen


What is tubular excretion?

Excretion: Voiding of substances in the urine


What is RBF? What is it normally?

RBF = renal blood flow
Generally ~20% of CO

Able to quickly filter blood
Frequent blood plasma alterations
Continuously modify blood vol., ion balance
Quick compensation for changes
Excretion of drugs

RBF decreased with exercise and sym inn, compensation needed


What does sympathetic innervation directly affect in the kidney?

Smooth muscle
- arteriolar constriction
- protective during increased BP

Granular cells
- renin secretion