Anatomy of the Kidneys and Urinary Tract System
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Basic anatomical knowledge of the kidneys and urinary tract system is important for the correct classification of renal and post-renal urinary sediment constituents.
KeywordsAnatomy of the kidneys and urinary tract system Cells of renal origin from cells of post-renal origin Dysmorphic erythrocytes and acanthocytes Casts form in the distal renal tubules Renal and tubular epithelial cells
The urine constituents found in urine sediment are named according to their origin. From a diagnostic perspective, it is important to distinguish cells of renal origin from cells of post-renal origin. For example, the increased presence of dysmorphic erythrocytes and acanthocytes is attributed to impaired renal tissue or impaired glomeruli. Eumorphic erythrocytes are more likely to be of post-renal origin (exception: renal tumor). Casts form in the distal renal tubules depending on the pH value and concentration of the urine.
Epithelial cells are also named according to their origin. Renal and tubular epithelial cells are found in kidney tissue. Transitional epithelium/urothelium covers the renal pelvis and urinary tract system up to the upper segment of the urethra. The squamous epithelium originates in the lower segment of the urethra.