2020 Edition
| Editors: Maria Rosaria Raspollini, Antonio Lopez-Beltran

Kidney, Normal Histology

  • Anna Caliò
  • Diego Segala
  • Guido MartignoniEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-41894-6_4836


The kidneys are paired, bean-shaped organs located in the retroperitoneum.


Kidneys filter blood in a three-step process: (1) the nephrons filter blood through the capillary network in the glomerulus (glomerular filtration); (2) the filtrate is collected in the renal tubules (tubular reabsorption); and (3) additional solutes and wastes are secreted into the kidney tubules (tubular secretion).

Juxtaglomerular cells are specialized cells located within the afferent arterioles of the kidney which produce renin to control blood pressure.

Size and Weight

Adult kidneys average 150 g and are approximately 12 cm long, 6 cm wide, and 3 cm thick.


Each kidney consists of an outer cortex and an inner medulla. The medulla has roughly 12 pyramids, with their bases at the corticomedullary junction. A medullary pyramid and its overlying cortex constitute a renal lobe.


The nephron is the functional unit of the kidney and includes the glomerulus and its tubule, the...
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References and Further Reading

  1. Martignoni, G., Pea, M., Brunelli, M., et al. (2004). CD10 is expressed in a subset of chromophobe renal cell carcinomas. Modern Pathology, 17, 1455–1463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Tong, G. X., Yu, W. M., Beaubier, N. T., et al. (2009). Expression of PAX8 in normal and neoplastic renal tissues: An immunohistochemical study. Modern Pathology, 22, 1218–1227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic and Public Health, Section of PathologyUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Department of PathologyPederzoli HospitalPeschiera del GardaItaly