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Flashcards in Urinary System Deck (18)
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List the four major urinary organs and their functions regarding urine.

1. Kidneys (produce urine)
2. Ureters (transport)
3. Urinary Bladder ( temporarily store)
4. Urethra (secrete)

- the rest transport, store, and secrete it

* urinary system is the simplest of the visceral body systems!!!


Explain why the urinary system is often conceptually combined with the reproductive system (uro-genital system)

- the intimate physical relationships of some organs of the urinary and reproductive systems is why the name is combined


State the functions of the urinary system and indicate which one is shared with the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

1. Waste Product Elimination - rids body of urea
* one ounce eliminated each day
* shared with cardiovascular (has waste exchange)

2. Blood pressure Regulation - produces urine to reduce fluid content of body

3. Acid/Base Balance - excrete hydrogen ions and reabsorb bicarbonate ions
* shared with cardio and respiratory systems

4. Electrolyte Balance - reabsorb Na + in exchange for K+

5. Production of Erythropoietin - make RBC's

6. Hydroregulation - regulate water loss


List the two hormones produced by the kidneys can indicate their functions.

1. Renin - increases blood pressure
2. Erythropoietin - stimulates RBC production


Roughly sketch a kidney and label its extremities, borders, and hilum.

1. Superior Extremity (top)
2. Inferior Extremity (bottom)
3. Medial Border (concave) - hilum locus
4. Lateral Border (convex)
5. Renal Hilum
6. Posterior Surface (adjacent to diaphragm)
7. Anterior Surface - covered by peritoneum
8. Pararenal Fat Body

* kidneys hv. retroperitoneum!


List five structures that attach at the renal hilum.

1. Renal Artery
2. Renal Vein
3. Nerve Plexus
4. Lymphatic Vessels
5. Ureter


Roughly sketch a coronally sectioned kidney and label the renal cortex, medulla, columns, pyramids, minor renal calices, major renal calices, and renal pelvis.

1. Each kidney is covered by fibrous capsule of c.t. proper

2. Outer Renal Cortex

3. Inner Renal Medulla

4. Medulla is sectioned into 8-15 Renal Pyramids

5. Renal Columns separate the Renal Pyramids

6. Hillar Tip of each pyramid = Renal Papilla

7. Renal Papilla drains into Minor Renal Calix

8. These coalesce to form Major Renal Calices

9. These unite to form Renal Pelvis

10. This is continuous with the ureter


List the three major components of a nephron and the four sequential subparts of a renal tubule.

1. Glomerulus
2. Glomerular Capsule
3. Renal Tubule

Renal Tubule:

1. Proximal Convoluted Tube
2. Nephron Loop (3 parts)
3. Distal Convoluted Tube
4. Renal Collecting Tubule (3 parts)


List the three processes involved in urine formation and indicate which of the three major parts of a nephron are involved in each.

1. Filtration (Glomerulus and Internal Wall of Glomerular Capsule)

2. Secretion (Renal Tubule)

3. Selective Reabsorption (Renal Tubule)


Explain how filtration occurs using the terms glomerulus, internal wall of glomerular capsule, podocyte, pedicel, and filtration slit.

1. The Glomerulus receives afferent glomerular arterioles (incoming blood) and drains efferent glomerular arterioles (outgoing blood)

2. The Glomerulus is invaginated into the Glomerular Capsule. The Glomerular Capsule has an internal and external wall

3. The Internal Wall of the Glomerular Capsule has cells called podocytes

4. The podocytes have finger like projections called pedicles that interdigitate with each other and form tiny spaces called filtration slits

5. The filtration slits allow passage of water and small molecules from the blood to enter (as blood flows through the glomerulus part of its fluid portion passes through vessel walls into filtration slits)

6. It then becomes filtrate once it enters the filtration slit and enters the glomerular capsule


Indicate the name and location of the cells that produce urine.

At one point the distal convoluted tubule is in direct contact with the afferent arterioles of the glomerulus. Cells in this portion interact with the juxtaglomular cells of the afferent arterioles that produce renin.


Name, in order, the vessels through which blood flows in a kidney.

1. Renal Artery
* the artery will divide into two major branches (anterior and posterior)

2. Anterior Branch divides to form 4 segmental branches that supply anterior half of kidney

3. Posterior Branch supplies main portion of posterior part of the kidney

4. These segmental branches divide to form interlobar arteries

* go into renal columns between the renal pyramids

5. At the corticomedullary junctions (where cortex and medulla are joined) they form loops called arcuate arteries

6. Arcuate arteries supply tiny interlobular arteries

7. Afferent arteriole arises as a branch of the interlobular arteries

8. The efferent arteriole drains each glomerulus and feeds peritubular capillaries

9. They then drain into interlobular veins

10. This then leaves kidney through the renal vein


Outline the volumetrics of urine formation beginning with an average resting cardiac output of 5.0 liters/min.

Cardiac Output (C.O.) = 5000 ml/min

Renal Blood Flow (20% of C.O.) = 1000 ml/min

Filtrate formed (10% of renal flow) = 100 ml/min

Filtrate volume reabsorbed (99%) = 99 ml/min

Remaining Filtrate Volume (urine) = 1 ml/min


Discuss how the oblique passage of each ureter through the urinary bladder wall forms a functional valve to help prevent vesicoureteral reflux.

The Ureter transports urine from the renal pelvis to the neck of the urinary bladder.

* the ureter has three major layers

- Mucosa (transitional epithelium/ lamina propria)
- Tunica Muscularis
- Serosa (visceral peritoneum)

1. To move urine to urinary bladder, muscularis layer contracts in peristaltic waves

2. Ureters penetrate wall of urinary bladder at oblique angles

3. This allows increasing pressure of urine in bladder to act as a passive valve to keep terminal portion of ureter squeezed shut

4. It remains squeezed shut except when peristaltic waves force more urine into bladder

5. This closure prevents back flow of urine from urinary bladder into ureters (vesicoureteral reflux)

*prevents pressure at kidneys leading to renal degeneration


Schematically represent a sagittally sectioned urinary bladder and label the apex, body, neck, fundus, and the internal and external urethral sphincters.

Good to know:

Stretch receptors in bladder wall stimulate the feeling to urinate

* the urinary bladder stores urine until it can be eliminated

1. Apex - superoanteriorly

2. Body - expanded portion

3. Neck - narrowed part that joins urethra

4. Fundus - base of urinary bladder

Layers in Bladder:

1. Mucosa

- transitional epithelium (round when bladder empty, flat when full)
- lamina propria
- muscularis mucosae

2. Submucosa

3. Tunica Muscularis (3 layers)

- detrusor m. = contracts to empty bladder
- internal sphincter m. = smooth m.t. (surrounds urethra)
- external sphincter m. = skeletal m.t. (urethral sphincter m.)

*internal sphincter is unvoluntary control
*external sphincter is voluntary control
*both must be relaxed to urinate

4. Serosa


Explain why men suffer cystitis (urinary bladder inflammation) from ascending urethral infections less often than women.

in males urethra is 18-20 cm long and is divided into 3 segments

1. Prostatic Part (proximal, first 3 cm) - transitional epithelium

2. Membranous part (penetrates urogenital diaphragm) - pseudostratified epithelium

3. Spongy Part (goes through penis) - pseudostratified epithelium

*enlarged portion near end = navicular fossa (stratified columnar)

in females the urethra is 2.5 - 3.0 cm

- doesn't have regional segments

* because the urethra of the female is shorter it makes it more susceptible to cystitis (urinary bladder inflammation)


Define: urinary calculi, uremia, ectopic ureter, patent urachus, cystitis, epispadias, and hypospadias.

Urinary calculi: often called "stones", are precipitated deposits that sometimes block portions of the urinary system

Uremia: high buildup of urea in blood; can be fatal

Ectopic ureter: abnormally positioned ureters can end in uterus, vagina, or urethra causing urinary incontinence

Patent urachus: urachus after birth remains open; urine will be dribbling from ubilicus

Cystitis: inflammation of urinary bladder (common in females)

Epispadias: urethra opens on top of penile body rather than tip of glans penis

Hypospadias: urethra opens below penile body rather than tip of glans penis


Differentiate the three types of urinary incontinence.

1. Neurogenic: involves nerve supply to urinary bladder

- not normal urination
- distended bladder
- easily catheterized

2. Paradoxical: blockage of the urethra

- not normal urination
- distended bladder
- not easily catheterized

3. Non- Neurogenic: abnormally positioned ureter (i.e. etopic ureter)

- normal urination
- non-distended bladder
- easily catheterized