Kidneys - Medical Terminology(Adaptive*)

Label urinary structures in Figure Urinary system. (A) Cross-section of a right kidney showing internal structures and blood vessels. (B) Single nephron with a collecting duct and associated blood vessels. as you read the following material. The urinary system is composed of a (1) right kidney and a left kidney. These are the primary structural units responsible for urine formation.

Each kidney is composed of an outer layer, called the (2) renal cortex,and an inner region, called the (3) renal medulla. Blood enters the kidneys through the (4) renal artery and leaves through the (5) renal vein. Inside the kidney, the renal artery branches into smaller arteries called arterioles that lead into microscopic filtering units called nephrons. Each (6) nephronis designed to filter urea and other waste products effectively from theblood.

Whenever you see terms such as nephr/itisand ren/al, you will know they refer to the kidney(s)


Herniations. (A) Cystocele. (B) Rectocele

The term ren/al is commonly used as an adjective used to modify a noun. Some examples are ren/al dialysis and ren/al biopsy. Both of these terms mean pertaining to thekidney(s)

A diseased kidney, or renal cancer, may necessitate its removal. Use nephr/o to form a word that means excision of a kidney.

When ren/al cancer occurs, the diseased kidney must be removed. The surgical procedure to remove a kidney is known as anephr/o/megaly

An abnormal condition of stones is called lith/iasis

Formation of a kidney stone, or ren/al calculus, can vary in size from micro/scop/ic (commonly referrred to as sand or gravel) to a stonelarge enough to block the ureter or fill the ren/al pelvis. The stone commonly causes nephr/itis and nephr/algia. (See Figure Kidney stones shown in the calices and ureter.)

Ren/al hyper/tension produced by kidney disease is the most common type of hyper/tension caused by glomerul/o/nephr/itis or ren/ al artery stenosis.

Kidney stones shown in the calices and ureter.

Kidney stones shown in the calices and ureter.

Nephr/o/tic syndrome, a group of symptoms characterized by chronic loss of protein in the urine (protein/uria), leads to depletion of body protein, especially albumin. Normally, albumin and other serum proteins maintain fluid within the vascular space. When levels of these proteins are low, fluid leaks from blood vessels into tissues, resulting in edema. The syndrome may also occur as a result of other disease processes.

Although many disorders manifest fluid retention (excess fluid in tissues), a characteristic of nephr/o/tic syndrome is edema (swelling), especially around the ankles, feet, and eyes.

Diuretics are agents or drugs prescribed to control edema and also to stimulate the flow of urine. Edema around the ankles and feet may also be due to a diet high in sodium. When this condition occurs, the physician may recommend a low-sodium diet and prescribe an agent known as adiuretic

Hyper/tension damages kidneys by causing scler/ o/ tic changes, such as arteri/o/scler/osis with thickening and hardening of ren/al blood vessels (nephr /o /scler /osis).

A kidney may prolapse from its normal position because of a birth defect or injury. The downward displacement may occur because the kidney supports are weakened due to the sudden strain or blow. This condition is called nephr/o/ptosis, or floating kidney.

Nephr/o/ptosis can be treated surgically. Use -pexy to build a surgical term that means fixation of the kidney:

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