Renal Pelvis and Calices

From WikiLectures

Renal sinus description & syntopy

The renal sinus, which lies inside the hilum of the kidney, contains the renal pelvis and its calices, together with the other structures, nerves, vessels and fat.


The renal pelvis is the flattened, funnel-shaped expansion of the superior end of the ureter and its apex is continuous with the ureter. The pelvis receives 2–3 major calices, each of which sub-divides into 2–3 minor calices. The pelvis can exist as wide ampulla-shaped or tubular (branched). In living persons, the pelvis and its subsequent calices are collapsed (empty).


Each minor calyx surrounds a renal papilla (apex of pyramid) and collects the urine.


Ureter is shaped like a slightly flattened tube of about 4–7 mm diameter. It has variable length, but average might be around 30 cm. It is about 1 cm shorter in the female.

Syntopy of ureters.

Syntopy of ureter

  • Runs inferiorly from the apex of the renal pelvis at the hilum.
  • Passes over the pelvic grim at the bifurcation of the common iliac artery.
  • Runs along the lateral wall of pelvis and enters the urinary bladder.
  • Abdominal parts adhere closely to the parietal peritoneum and are retroperitoneal throughout their course.
  • Three constrictions:
    1. At junction between renal pelvis and ureter.
    2. At crossing of brim of pelvic inlet.
    3. During passage through wall of urinary bladder.

Vasculature of ureter

  • Abdominal portion: branches from renal arterties, abdominal aorta and common iliac artery.
  • Pelvic portion: branches from superior vesical aa, middle rectal aa, uterine/vaginal (female), inferior vesical artery (male).

Veins: follow the arteries in the same way and drain into renal and testicular (ovarian) veins.


Related articles


  • MOORE, Keith L – DALLEY, Arthur F. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 5. edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005. ISBN 0781736390.