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The Urinary System

By Laura Hunter (laura.hunter@glasgow.ac.uk) and Prof. Maureen Bain

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Introduction

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FP1058: Describe the structure, function and topography of the kidney and how the kidney contributes to the maintenance of homeostasis. FP1059: Describe the structure, function and topography of the lower urinary tract including the physiology of micturition Content ILOs1) Recognise the kidneys from a range of species.2)Interpret normal diagnostic images relating to the urinary system.3) Demonstrate the relative positions and topographical relationships of the kidneys, ureters and bladder in the male and female.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Online practicals are a complement to on campus practicals and do not replace the in person experience - these are meant to help you prepare for the lab practicals and are a good resource for revision.Make sure you have your notes and lectures slides on hand to consult while you complete the session. Questions are for self-testing purposes only and will not be individually scored. These will be a summary table at the end on the internal & external appearances of the kidneys in different species. You may wish to take notes as you move through the practical to fill in the table at the end. Some images will have icons which you can hover over to get the correct answer.

Before you start

Station 2 - Feline Kidney

Station 3 - Small Ruminant Kidneys (Sheep & Goat)

Station 4 - Bovine Kidneys

Station 5 - Equine Kidneys

Station 6 - Porcine Kidneys

Station 1 - Canine Kidney

Index

Station 7 - Lower Urinary Tract

Station 8 - Radiography & Ultrasonography

Kidney Features Video

Activity:Watch this video which demonstrates the features of a unilobar kidney.

This is the kidney of a dog. Activity:1) Identify A & B in this image.2) What type of tissue does B consist of?3) What type of kidney is this?

Station 1: Canine Kidneys (Image 1)

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Fibrous Capsule

Cortex

Dense irregular connective tissue

Unilobar

These are embalmed canine kidneys. The right kidney has somewhat swollen during the embalming process such that the parenchyma has become tightly compressed against the kidney capsule which does not extend. In life swelling of the kidney parenchyma could lead to necrosis.Activity: 1) What structures enter and leave the kidney at the hilus? 2) Urine moves passively through the ureters to the bladder- true or false?3) The renal arteries arise directly from the abdominal aorta- true or false?4) The renal veins drain directly into the caudal vena cava- true or false?

Canine Kidneys: Image 2

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Fibrous Capsule

Cortex

Ureters, Renal Artery & Renal Vein

True

False - Urine is actively milked by peristalsis along the ureters.

True

This is a freshly sectioned kidney.Note the change in coloration as we move from the cortex into the medulla at the corticomedullary junction. The renal recesses of the renal pelvis are also partially exposed in this specimen.Activity:1) Identify the labelled features in this sectioned canine kidney.

Canine Kidneys: Image 3

Reveal

D

E

A

B

C

Cortex

Corticomedullary Junction

Medulla

Renal Pelvis

Renal Crest

This is a resin cast showing the complex nature of the renal pelvis associated with the canine kidney (yellow). The interlobar arteries arising from the renal artery follow the path of the recesses in the renal pelvis towards the corticomedullary junction.Activity:1) Identify the labelled features in this resin cast. 2) Which arteries do the interlobar arteries lead into?

Canine Kidneys: Image 4

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D

E

A

B

C

F

Reveal

Renal pelvis

Renal arteries

Interlobar arteries

Renal recesses

Ureter

Abdominal aorta

Arcuate arteries

Contrast medium has been injected into the ureter in these radiographs to reveal the complex nature of the renal pelvis.Activity:1) Identify the labelled structures in this image.

Canine Kidneys: Image 5

Reveal

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A

B

C

Renal pelvis

Renal recesses

Ureter

The kidney of the feline is quite distinctive because the sub-capsular veins (arrowed) which run towards the hilus. The size of the kidney can be estimated by palpation or via imaging. On a ventrodorsal radiograph, normal kidney size is usually between two to three times the length of second lumbar vertebra (3 - 4.5 centimetres).

Station 2: Feline Kidneys (Image 1)

Internally the feline kidney conforms to the unilobar form. The arcuate blood vessels (circled) at the corticomedullary junction are indicated in this specimen. The real crest (A), renal pelvis (B) and renal sinus (C) have also been labelled in this specimen.Activity:1) From which branches of the renal artery do these vessels arise?2) The renal crest is where the urine drips from the papillary ducts to enter the renal pelvis. Do all species have a renal crest? 3) What kind of epithelium lines the renal pelvis? Do all species have a renal pelvis? 4) Once the urine enters the renal pelvis and exits the kidneys it will remain unchanged until it is voided- true or false?5) What type of tissue fills the renal sinus?

Feline Kidneys: Image 2

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These are fresh sheep kidneys.The kidney of small ruminants resembles that of the canine in shape and external appearance but is larger in comparison. They are bean-shaped and smooth, without any lobulation and elliptical in form. Positional information: The right kidney is slightly more cranial than the left. The left kidney tends to be more pendulous, and the forestomach may push the left kidney to the right as far as the median plane or beyond, particularly when the rumen is full.

Station 3: Small Ruminants (Image 1)

These are whole and sectioned sheep kidneys.The extent of fused medulla from the corticomedullary junction to the renal crest is indicated in the sectioned kidney in this image. Activity:1) Why do you think the medulla is paler than the cortex in the fresh specimen?

Small Ruminants: Image 2

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Blood entering kidney is directed to cortex, where it forms a fine perfuse network. Remember this is where blood is filtered and there are fewer blood vessels in the medulla in comparison.

These are fresh bovine kidneys. The kidneys of the bovine do not lose their foetal lobulation and are an example of a multilobar kidney. There are typically about 18-20 renal lobes giving the kidney a fissured appearance. The hilus is located on the medial surface. The bovine kidney has no renal pelvis but rather the ureters enter the kidney and divide into a cranial and caudal branch. These branches then subdivide and the papilla at the apex of the pyramids open and drain into calices.Due to the rumen taking up most of the left side of the abdomen it is normal in the bovine to find the more pendulous left kidney positioned caudoventral to the right one usually in the region between the 2nd and 4th lumbar vertebrae.The right ureter passes along the roof of the abdomen to the pelvis in a standard pattern. The left ureter however moves across the dorsal surface of its kidney to return to the midline and follow a course as if the kidney was located on the left.

Station 4: Bovine Kidneys (Image 1)

These are embalmed bovine kidneys which have been injected with latex.The main structures entering and leaving the hilus of the bovine kidney are illustrated in this image. A) Renal artery B) Renal vein C) Ureter

Bovine Kidneys: Image 2

A

B

C

Renal vein

Ureter

Renal artery

Sectioned renal lobes

The natural colour has been lost from this embalmed specimen. The cortex (red line) and medullary pyramid of one renal lobe are indicated (blue line). Instead of a renal pelvis the ureter (C) forms branches which terminate in 18-20 cup like extensions – calices. The calices (B) in this specimen are grey in colour and are surrounded by deposits of fat (A). The unfused medullary pyramids each empty into a calyx.

Bovine Kidneys: Image 3

A

B

B

C

Medullary pyramid

Fat deposit

Calyx

Ureter

Calyx

Cortex

This is a resin cast of the bovine kidney.The distribution of blood vessels (red) and the presence of renal calices (yellow) arising from the ureter. The large red vessel (A) represents the renal artery entering what would have been the renal hilus.The medullary pyramid of each renal lobe drains directly into one of the cuplike calices that have been exposed in this specimen. There is no ’common’ renal pelvis or renal crest in the multilobar kidney.

Bovine Kidneys: Image 4

A

Renal artery

Contrast medium has been injected into the ureter of these bovine kidneys to reveal the presence of renal calices.Note: You can clearly see the ureter subdividing into the two branches as it travels into the kidney.

Bovine Kidneys: Image 5

A

B

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Ureter

Calyx (plural: calices)

The equine kidneys not only have very different shapes compared to the rest of the domestic species, but also each kidney is a different shape.A - The left is described as being pyramidal or almost bean shaped.B - The right kidney is described as being heart shaped.

Station 5: Equine Kidneys (Image 1)

A

B

Left Kidney

Right Kidney

These are embalmed equine kidneys.The attachments of the renal arteries to the abdominal aorta have been preserved in this specimen. In this image we are looking at the ventral side of each kidney - branches of the renal artery run in grooves before entering the kidney parenchyma on this surface.

Equine Kidneys: Image 2

A

B

Right kidney and renal artery

Aorta

Each kidney weighs approximately 700g and both are dorsoventrally flattened. The kidneys are basically unilobar and the only demarcation between what were the multiple pyramids of the foetus are the interlobar arteries.

Equine Kidneys: Image 3

The renal pelvis of the equine kidney is large and irregular with 2 recesses (finger like processes)- only one of which is visible in this sectioned kidney. Note: The cells of the renal pelvis in the equine secrete mucin giving the urine a cloudy stringy appearance.Activity:See how many of the labelled features you can identify on this specimen.

Equine Kidneys: Image 4

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E

A

B

C

F

G

Cranial terminal recess (of renal pelvis)

Renal crest

Arcuate vessel

Cortex

Medulla

Renal pelvis

Hilus

This image shows a 3D reconstruction of the left equine kidney and details the complex nature of the renal pelvis in this species. The cranial and caudal terminal recesses of the renal pelvis arise from the renal pelvis. The renal crest is also indicated 1) Cranial terminal recess2) Caudal terminal recess3) Renal crest4) Renal pelvis

Equine Kidneys: Image 5

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Equine Veterinary Journal, Volume: 45, Issue: S45, Pages: 31-38, First published: 05 December 2013, DOI: (10.1111/evj.12167)

These are fresh porcine kidneys with the fibrous capsule removed.The kidneys are dorsoventrally flattened. The renal pelvis opens into quite a large space of two major calyces from which bud about 10 minor calyces. These attach to one renal papilla each. The kidneys have a smooth cortical surface.

Station 6: Porcine Kidneys (Image 1)

This is a fresh sectioned porcine kidney.Internally the cortex is smooth and confluent, but the medullary pyramids are still evident. Each medullary pyramid is associated with a calyx.Activity:Identify the structures labelled A-E.

Porcine Kidneys: Image 2

D

E

A

B

C

Ureter

Calices

Cortex

Medullary pyramids

Corticomedullary junction

Summary Table

External appearance:- Smooth outer surface- Fissured outer surface- Kidney bean shaped- Elongated/flattened- R kidney different shape to L kidney- Capsular veins

Internal appearance:- Multilobed- Unilobar- Intermediate form- Renal pelvis and renal crest - Medullary pyramids - Calices

Activity: Compare the external /internal features of the kidneys of the different species provided in this online practical then complete the table using one or more of the terms provided.

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Male Dog Urinary System Dissection Video

Activity:Watch this video which demonstrates the urinary system in the male dog.In this video the following structures are shown:1) Kidneys 2) Lobes of adrenal gland (bisected by phrenicoabdominal blood vessels)3) Renal vein (thin walled) leading to caudal vena cava.4) Ureters 5) Bladder 6) Median ligament of bladder 7) Lateral ligament of bladder 8) Ductus deferens 9) Inguinal canal 10) Testicular artery

The right ureter is shown in this image running towards the neck of the bladder. Activity:1) List 2 ways in which the ureters structurally adapted to perform their function.

Station 7: Lower Urinary Tract (Image 1)

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The medial ligament of the bladder is shown in this image. Activity:

Lower Urinary Tract: Image 2

The lateral ligaments of the bladder are illustrated in this image. Activity:1) What important structure(s) are found running in the cranial margin of these ligaments?

Lower Urinary Tract: Image 3

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Umbilical arteries

Intact Bitch Urinary Dissection Video

Activity:Watch this video demonstrating the key features of the urogenital system in the intact female dog (bitch).In this video the following structures are shown:1) Kidney 2) Ureter 3) Renal vein 4) Adrenal gland 5) Ovary 6) Uterine horns 7) Body of bladder 8) Lateral ligament of bladder

Activity:Identify the labelled structures 1-8 in this image of the specimen shown in the video.

Lower Urinary Tract: Image 4

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1

5

Right kidney

Left adrenal gland

Left ovary

Sectioned colon

Ureter

Uterine horn

Lateral ligament of bladder

Bladder

Contrast medium has been used to outline the kidney, pelvis and parts of the ureters and urethra. The urinary bladder is only partially filled in this lateral view. Activity: Identify the labelled structures A-D.

Station 8: Radiography (Image 1)

D

A

B

C

Renal pelvis of right kidney

Ureter

Bladder

Urethra

Contrast medium has been used to outline the kidney, pelvis and parts of the ureters and urethra. The urinary bladder is well defined in the D/V view.Activity: Identify the labelled structures A-D.

Radiography (Image 2)

D

A

B

C

Left kidney

Ureter

Bladder

Urethra

Radiography: Image 3

This series of contrast radiographs shows the bladder at different stages of filling.

Radiography: Image 4

The bladder is full in this radiograph.Activity:Identify the regions of the bladder labelled A - C.

A

B

C

Vertex or Apex

Body

Neck

Radiography: Image 5

An accumulation of deposited salts has been amassed within the bladder in this animal’s body. Activity:Which species and of which sex is this animal?

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Small Dog & Male (can see the OS penis)

Ultrasonography: Image 6

Ultrasound image of the kidney.Activity:1) Has this image been taken in the long or short axis? 2) Identify X, Y and Z in this image.

Reveal Z

Reveal Y

Reveal X

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Long axis

Cortex

Medulla

Renal pelvis or hilus

Ultrasonography: Image 7

Ultrasound image of the kidney.Activity:1) Has this image been taken in the long or short axis? 2) Identify X, Y and Z in this image.

Reveal Z

Reveal Y

Reveal

Reveal X

Cortex

Medulla

Renal pelvis or hilus

Short axis or Cross section/transverse plane

Ultrasonography: Image 8

Ultrasound image.Activity:1) Identify the two organs which are imaged and marked (i) and (ii) in this ultrasound image. 2) Was this image taken on the left or right side of the animal? 3) What is the significance of the line x-y represented on this ultrasound image?

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Represents where the cranial pole of kidney resting in renal fossa caudate lobe of liver.

Right side

i) Kidney ii) Liver

Could you give us some feedback on how you found this online practical please! This helps us to know whether it is worth spending the countless hours creating these practicals for you or if you prefer the Moodle lessons format.We would love to know:1) Did you enjoy this format for this online practical?2) Is there any issues/ anything you would change about this practical?3) General feedback!Insert open question box

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Answer

- Transitional epithelium- Smooth muscle enables the flow of urine to be directed towards the bladder

Summary Table Answers

1) Interlobar arteries.2) No. This is a feature of the dog/sheep kidney where the papillary ducts converge. The situation in the horse kidney is complex but suffice to say the term renal crest is described.3) Transitional epithelium or urothelium. Unilobar kidneys have a renal pelvis, in the pig the renal pelvis equivalent equates to where the calyces collectively fuse to continue as the ureter.4) True. No further modification of the urine takes place after it leaves the kidney.5) Fat/ Adipose tissue

Answers