Kidneys visceral areas
This specimen shows the visceral relations of the kidneys on the anterior surface.
The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped excretory organs situated on the posterior abdominal wall on either side of the vertebral column. Their anterior surface is related to several viscera. The upper poles of both the kidneys are related to the corresponding suprarenal glands. Apart from that, the right kidney is related to the liver, the right colic flexure and the jejunum. Its hilum is related to the duodenum. The left kidney is related to the stomach, the pancreas, the jejunum, the left colic flexure and the spleen. The other structures such as the Inferior vena cava, the abdominal aorta and the left renal vein can be identified.
The suprarenal glands are the endocrine glands, located at the upper pole of both kidneys. The right suprarenal gland is pyramidal in shape, whereas, the left suprarenal gland is semilunar in shape. Each gland possesses an outer cortex and an inner medulla. The cortex secretes three types of steroid hormones, namely the mineralocorticoids, the glucocorticoids and the androgens. These hormones are mainly responsible for controlling the electrolyte and water balance. The medulla secretes the hormones such as the epinephrine and the nor-epinephrine.
The liver is located in the right upper part of the abdominal cavity. It is mainly concerned with the secretion of bile necessary for the digestion of fats and also detoxifies the blood. It is divided into two large lobes, namely, the right and the left lobes. Apart from these lobes, two additional lobes, such as, the caudate and the quadrate lobes also can be identified. The quadrate lobe is related to the hepatic area of the right kidney.
Right colic flexure:
The colon consists of three main parts, namely the ascending colon, the transverse colon and the descending colon. The ascending colon continues with the transverse colon at the right colic flexure (hepatic flexure). The colic area on the right kidney is related to the right colic flexure.
Left colic flexure:
The colon consists of three main parts, namely the ascending colon, the transverse colon and the descending colon. The transverse colon continues with the descending colon at the left colic flexure (splenic flexure). The colic area on the left kidney is related to the left colic flexure.
The jejunum is a part of the small intestine. It is proximally continuous with the duodenum and distally with the ileum. The coils of the jejunum are related to the jejunal area on the right and the left kidneys.
The duodenum is the first portion of the small intestine. Its main function is digestion of the chyme from the stomach. It consists of four parts, namely, 1st part, 2nd part, 3rd part and 4th part. The 2nd part of duodenum is related to the duodenal area at the hilum of the right kidney. The interior of the 2nd part shows two elevations, known as the major duodenal papilla and the minor duodenal papilla. The major duodenal papilla receives the opening of the bile duct and the main pancreatic duct, whereas the minor duodenal papilla receives the opening of the minor pancreatic duct.
The stomach is located in the upper left part of the abdominal cavity. It is the widest part of the gastrointestinal tract. It helps in digestion. The interior of the stomach shows numerous temporary mucosal folds known as rugae. It gastric cells secrete Hydrochloric acid and Pepsinogen. Excessive secretion of Hydrochloric acid leads to gastric ulcers. The posteroinferior surface of the stomach forms a relation at the gastric area of the left kidney.
The pancreas is the largest digestive gland. It is made up of both the exocrine and the endocrine parts. The exocrine part, secretes enzymes involved in the digestion of the lipids, the carbohydrates and the proteins. The endocrine part is made up of clusters of cells, known as the Islets of Langerhans, which are involved in glucose homeostasis. The posterior surface of body of pancreas is related to the pancreatic area of the left kidney.
The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ. It is situated in the left upper part of the abdominal cavity, posterior to the stomach and below the diaphragm. Its main function is to filter the blood to remove the worn-out RBCs and to produce RBCs in fetal life. The visceral surface of the spleen is related to the splenic area on the left kidney. This splenic area is close to the lateral border of the left kidney.
Inferior vena cava:
The Inferior vena cava lies to the right of the midline and receives the renal veins (right and left).
The abdominal aorta lies to the right of the midline and gives rise to the renal arteries. The renal arteries supply the kidneys.
Left renal vein:
The left renal vein drains the venous blood from the kidneys into the inferior vena cava. The important tributaries of the left renal vein are the left gonadal vein and the left suprarenal vein.