kidney

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kidney

1. either of two bean-shaped organs at the back of the abdominal cavity in man, one on each side of the spinal column. They maintain water and electrolyte balance and filter waste products from the blood, which are excreted as urine
2. the corresponding organ in other animals
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Kidney

An organ involved with the elimination of water and waste products from the body. In vertebrates the kidneys are paired organs located close to the spine dorsally in the body cavity. They consist of a number of smaller functional units called urinary tubules or nephrons. The nephrons open to large ducts, the collecting ducts, which open into a ureter. The two ureters run backward to open into the cloaca or into a urinary bladder. In mammals, the kidneys are bean-shaped and found between the thorax and the pelvis. The number, structure, and function of the nephrons vary with evolution and, in certain significant ways, with the adaptation of the animals to their various habitats.

In its most primitive form, found only in invertebrates, the nephron has a funnel opening into the coelomic cavity followed by a urinary tubule leading to an excretory pore. In amphibians, some of the tubules have this funnel, but most of the tubules have a Bowman capsule (see illustration). In all higher vertebrates, the nephron has the Bowman capsule, which surrounds a tuft of capillary loops, called the glomerulus, constituting the closed end of the nephron. The inner epithelial wall of the Bowman capsule is in intimate contact with the endothelial wall of the capillaries. The wall of the capillaries, together with the inner wall of the Bowman capsule, forms a membrane ideally suited for filtration of the blood.

Nephron from frog kidney, dissected to show glomerulus within Bowman capsuleenlarge picture
Nephron from frog kidney, dissected to show glomerulus within Bowman capsule

The blood pressure in the capillaries of the glomerulus causes filtering of blood by forcing fluid, small molecules, and ions through the membrane into the lumen of Bowman's capsule. This filtrate contains some of the proteins and all of the smaller molecules in the blood. As the filtrate passes down through the tubule, the walls of the tubule extract those substances not destined for excretion and return them to the blood in adjacent capillaries. Many substances which are toxic to the organism are moved in the opposite direction from the blood into the tubules. The urine thus produced by each nephron is conveyed by the collecting duct and ureter to the cloaca or bladder from which it can be eliminated.

In all classes of vertebrates the renal arteries deliver blood to the glomeruli and through a second capillary net to the tubules. The major blood supply to the kidney tubules comes, however, from the renal portal vein, which is found in all vertebrates except mammals and cyclostomes. Waste products from the venous blood can thus be secreted directly into the urinary tubules. See Urinary system

kidney

[′kid·nē]
(anatomy)
Either of a pair of organs involved with the elimination of water and waste products from the body of vertebrates; in humans they are bean-shaped, about 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) long, and are located in the posterior part of the abdomen behind the peritoneum.
References in periodicals archive ?
He said the treatment for acute kidney failure is intravenous fluids and monitoring kidney function.
Acute kidney failure currently requires a lengthy hospital stay, often involving daily kidney dialysis in the Intensive Care Unit.
Then I was given the all-clear." Ian, 52, suffered acute kidney failure two years ago and waited in vain for a suitable donor, spending nine hours a day on a dialysis machine.
Normal kidney function is essential to life, and acute kidney failure can often be reversed with treatment of the medical condition that caused the kidneys to fail, together with kidney dialysis, which takes over their function while the kidneys heal.
Such treatment would accelerate the natural healing process, shorten hospital stays, and reduce the death rate in hospitalized patients who develop acute kidney failure.
The beef hadn't been "precooked" enough to kill the bacteria, which is thought to be the leading cause of acute kidney failure in children.
The 16-year-old girl was admitted to the facility on July 22 after she was diagnosed with what doctors termed as acute kidney failure.
She said the irregular treatment he received ultimately led to acute kidney failure on June 22 this year, resulting in an emergency procedure to place a central line in his chest for dialysis.
Despite being rushed to the surgery for treatment, the pet suffered from acute kidney failure and later died as a result.
Suffering from acute kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee has chosen to spend his final days surrounded by his loved ones in the countryside.
Headquartered in Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA, NxStage Medical Inc is a medical technology company that develops, manufactures and markets innovative products for the treatment of ESRD and acute kidney failure. It has established dialysis clinics committed to the development of innovative care delivery models for ESRD patients.

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