Renal pelvis

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renal pelvis
Illu kidney2.jpg
Frontal section through kidney.
Kidney PioM.png
Precursor Ureteric bud
Latin pelvis renalis
MeSH A05.810.453.537
TA A08.1.05.001
FMA 15575
Anatomical terminology

The renal pelvis or pelvis of the kidney is the basin-like or funnel-like dilated proximal part of the ureter in the kidney.

In humans, the renal pelvis is the point of convergence of two or three major calyces. Each renal papilla is surrounded by a branch of the renal pelvis called a calyx.

The major function of the renal pelvis is to act as a funnel for urine flowing to the ureter.

The renal pelvis is the location of several kinds of kidney cancer.

Its mucous membrane is covered with transitional epithelium, and an underlying lamina propria of loose to dense connective tissue.

The renal pelves and calices have here been dissected out in a cow and seal and vary greatly in size and number depending on species.

Additional images[edit]

Etymology and pronunciation[edit]

Like the bony pelvis, the renal pelvis (/ˈrnəl/ /ˈpɛlvs/) gets its English name via New Latin from the older Latin word pelvis, "basin", as in "wash basin".[1] In both cases the name reflects the shape of the structure, and in the case of the renal pelvis, it also reflects the function. The name reflects that each renal pelvis collects urine from the calyces and funnels it into the ureter like a wash basin collects water and funnels it into a drain pipe. The renal pelvis is occasionally called the pyelum (from Greek πύελος pýelos, "trough", ‘anything hollow’), and the combining form pyelo- denotes the renal pelvis (pyelo- is not to be confused with pyo-). The words infundibulum and choana are other words for funnel-shaped cavities (which medical English got from the Latin and Greek words for "funnel", respectively), and the renal pelvis is sometimes called the renal infundibulum. The form *renal choana is logical but is not used.

Clinical significance[edit]

The size of the renal pelvis plays a major role in the grading of hydronephrosis. Normally, the anteroposterior diameter of the renal pelvis is less than 4 mm in fetuses up to 32 weeks of gestational age and 7 mm afterwards.[2] In adults, 13% of the normal population have a transverse pelvid diameter of over 10 mm.[3]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, Merriam-Webster. 
  2. ^ Page 189 in: V. D'Addario (2014). Donald School Basic Textbook of Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology. JP Medical Ltd. ISBN 9789351523376. 
  3. ^ Emamian SA, Nielsen MB, Pedersen JF, Ytte L (1993). "Sonographic evaluation of renal appearance in 665 adult volunteers. Correlation with age and obesity". Acta Radiol. 34 (5): 482–5. PMID 8369185. 

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