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Urinary system
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

Latin systema urinarium

The urinary system (also called excretory system or the genitourinary system) is the organ system that produces, stores, and eliminates urine. In humans it includes two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder, the urethra, two sphinchter muscles, and the penis in males.

Contents

Physiology

Kidney

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs, which lie in the abdomen, retroperitoneal to the organs of digestion, around or just below the ribcage and close to the lumbar spine. The organ is about the size of a human fist and is surrounded by what is called Peri-nephric fat, and situated on the superior pole of each kidney is an adrenal gland. The kidneys receive their blood supply of 1.25 L/min (25% of the cardiac output) from the renal arteries which are fed by the abdominal aorta. This is important because the kidneys' main role is to filter water soluble waste products from the blood. The other attachment of the kidneys are at their functional endpoints the ureters, which lies more medial and runs down to the trigone of urinary bladder.

The kidneys perform a number of tasks, such as: concentrating urine, regulating electrolytes, and maintaining acid-base homeostasis. The kidney excretes and re-absorbs electrolytes (e.g. sodium, potassium and calcium) under the influence of local and systemic hormones. pH balance is regulated by the excretion of bound acids and ammonium ions. In addition, they remove urea, a nitrogenous waste product from the metabolism of amino acids. The end point is a hyperosmolar solution carrying waste for storage in the bladder prior to urination.

Humans produce about 2.9 liters of urine over 24 hours, although this amount may vary according to circumstances. Because the rate of filtration at the kidney is proportional to the glomerular filtration rate, which is in turn related to the blood flow through the kidney, changes in body fluid status can affect kidney function. Hormones exogenous and endogenous to the kidney alter the amount of blood flowing through the glomerulus. Some medications interfere directly or indirectly with urine production. Diuretics achieve this by altering the amount of absorbed or excreted electrolytes or osmalites, which causes a diuresis.

Urethra

The endpoint of the urinary system is the urethra. Typically the urethra in humans is colonised by commensal bacteria below the external urethral sphincter. The urethra emerges from the end of the penis in males and between the clitoris and the vagina in females.

See also

References








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