NursingABC - Module
The three separate regions evident in a vertical section of the kidney are the cortex, the medulla, and the
pelvis. The outer renal cortex, just inside the renal capsule, is a continuous outer region with a number of
projections (cortical columns) that extend down between the renal medulla pyramids. Located within the
cortex are the glomerular capsule and the distal and convoluted tubule sections of the nephrons along with
associated blood vessels.
Deeper within the kidney lies the renal medulla which is divided into sections called pyramids that point
toward the center of the kidney. Located within the medulla are the Loop of Henle and the collecting duct
sections of the nephrons along with associated blood vessels.
The centermost section of the kidney near the renal hilus is the renal pelvis which constitutes a funnel-
shaped tube that connects to the ureter as it leaves the hilus. Several extensions of the pelvis called calyces
collect urine which drains continuously into the renal pelvis and subsequently into the ureter, which transports
the urine to the bladder to be stored.