Dictionary > Renal pyramid

Renal pyramid

Definition
noun, plural: renal pyramids
A conical mass of tissues as seen on longitudinal section of the kidney and collectively with the other renal pyramids form the renal medulla of the kidney
Supplement
The vertebrate kidney has two major regions, i.e. the renal cortex and the renal medulla. The renal cortex is the outer region that forms the cortical columns in between the renal pyramids. The renal medulla is the inner region. It is comprised of smaller conical sections of tissues called renal pyramids. In humans, there are about ten to 18 renal pyramids in the renal medulla.1
The renal pyramid contains part of the secreting tubules and the collecting tubules. It is also called Malpighi’s pyramid as named after the anatomist Marcello Malpighi.
The base (i.e. basis pyramidis renis) is the outer broad part of a renal pyramid and it lies next to the renal cortex. The apex (or papilla) of the renal pyramid points inwardly towards the pelvis of the kidney.
Synonym(s):

  • malpighian pyramid
  • Malpighi’s pyramid
  • pyramis renalis
  • medullary pyramid

See also:

  • renal medulla
  • kidney
  • Related term(s):

    • Base of renal pyramid

    Reference(s):

    1 Young, B., O’Dowd, G., and Woodford, P. (2014). Wheater’s Functional Histology (6 ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier. p. 293


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