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Ureter
Urinary system.svg
1. Human urinary system: 2. Kidney, 3. Renal pelvis, 4. Ureter, 5. Urinary bladder, 6. Urethra. (Left side with frontal section)

7. Adrenal gland
Vessels: 8. Renal artery and vein, 9. Inferior vena cava, 10. Abdominal aorta, 11. Common iliac artery and vein
With transparency: 12. Liver, 13. Large intestine, 14. Pelvis

Urinary tract la.png
Gray's subject #254 1225
Artery Superior vesical artery, Vaginal artery, Ureteral branches of renal artery
Precursor Ureteric bud
MeSH Ureter
Dorlands/Elsevier Ureter

In human anatomy, the ureters are muscular tubes that propel urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder. In the adult, the ureters are usually 25–30 cm (10–12 in) long and ~3-4 mm in diameter.

In humans, the ureters arise from the renal pelvis on the medial aspect of each kidney before descending towards the bladder on the front of the psoas major muscle. The ureters cross the pelvic brim near the bifurcation of the iliac arteries (which they run over). This "pelviureteric junction" is a common site for the impaction of kidney stones (the other being the ureterovesical valve). The ureters run posteroinferiorly on the lateral walls of the pelvis They then curve anteriormedially to enter the bladder through the back, at the vesicoureteric junction, running within the wall of the bladder for a few centimeters. The backflow of urine is prevented by valves known as ureterovesical valves.

In the female, the ureters pass through the mesometrium on the way to the urinary bladder.

Ureters are also found in all other amniote species, although different ducts fulfil the same role in amphibians and fish.[1]

Contents

Histology

Cross section through a microscope.

The ureteric lumen is star-shaped. Like the bladder, it is lined with transitional epithelium, and contains layers of smooth muscle, thereby being under autonomic control.

The epithelial cells of the ureter are stratified (in many layers), are normally round in shape but become squamous (flat) when stretched. The lamina propria is thick and elastic (as it is important that it is impermeable).

There are two spiral layers of smooth muscle in the ureter wall, an inner loose spiral, and an outer tight spiral. The inner loose spiral is sometimes described as longitudinal, and the outer as circular, (this is the opposite to the situation in the gastrointestinal tract). The distal third of the ureter contains another layer of outer longitudinal muscle.

The adventitia of the ureter, like elsewhere is composed of fibrous connective tissue, that binds it to adjacent tissues.

References

  1. ^ Romer, Alfred Sherwood; Parsons, Thomas S. (1977). The Vertebrate Body. Philadelphia, PA: Holt-Saunders International. p. 378. ISBN 0-03-910284-X. 

External links

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