Calyx


Image Caption : Left Kidney Revealing Calyx and Renal Pyramid: This is a cross-section of the left kidney showing the calyces pryamids and urethra; the vasculature has been omitted. The calyces are the areas in the kidney that collect urine emptying from the papilla of the renal pyramids. They converge into the renal pelvis which connects with the ureter where urine will continue to travel to the bladder and then out of the body by expulsion through the urethra.

The human kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water everyday. These wastes are passed out of the body as urine. If the kidneys did not remove them these wastes would build up in the blood and damage the body. Damage to the kidneys can also occur in people who have had diabetes for many years particularly if the diabetes is not well controlled.

Kidney Calices

Recesses of the kidney pelvis which divides into two wide, cup-shaped major renal calices, with each major calix subdivided into 7 to 14 minor calices. Urine empties into a minor calix from collecting tubules, then passes through the major calix, renal pelvis, and ureter to enter the urinary bladder.

National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine

What are the kidneys and what do they do?

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. Every day, the two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid. The urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder through two thin tubes of muscle called ureters, one on each side of the bladder. The bladder stores urine. The muscles of the bladder wall remain relaxed while the bladder fills with urine. As the bladder fills to capacity, signals sent to the brain tell a person to find a toilet soon. When the bladder empties, urine flows out of the body through a tube called the urethra, located at the bottom of the bladder. In men the urethra is long, while in women it is short.

Why are the kidneys important?

The kidneys are important because they keep the composition, or makeup, of the blood stable, which lets the body function. They

  • prevent the buildup of wastes and extra fluid in the body
  • keep levels of electrolytes stable, such as sodium, potassium, and phosphate
  • make hormones that help
    • regulate blood pressure
    • make red blood cells
    • bones stay strong

How do the kidneys work?

The kidney is not one large filter. Each kidney is made up of about a million filtering units called nephrons. Each nephron filters a small amount of blood. The nephron includes a filter, called the glomerulus, and a tubule. The nephrons work through a two-step process. The glomerulus lets fluid and waste products pass through it; however, it prevents blood cells and large molecules, mostly proteins, from passing. The filtered fluid then passes through the tubule, which sends needed minerals back to the bloodstream and removes wastes. The final product becomes urine

Drawing of the kidney. Blood with wastes enters the kidney, filtered blood exits, and wastes go to the bladder. Inset shows a nephron with glomerulus and tubule.Each kidney is made up of about a million filtering units called nephrons.

Points to Remember

  • Every day, the two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid.
  • The kidneys are important because they keep the composition, or makeup, of the blood stable, which lets the body function.
  • Each kidney is made up of about a million filtering units called nephrons. The nephron includes a filter, called the glomerulus, and a tubule.
  • The nephrons work through a two-step process. The glomerulus lets fluid and waste products pass through it; however, it prevents blood cells and large molecules, mostly proteins, from passing. The filtered fluid then passes through the tubule, which sends needed minerals back to the bloodstream and removes wastes.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases / NIH

Calyx or calyce (plural "calyces"), from the Latin calyx which itself comes from the Ancient Greek κάλυξ (kálux) meaning "husk" or "pod", may refer to:



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