Kidney structure - image description

This diagram shows the structure of the kidney in cross section. On top of the kidney is a small gland called the adrenal gland. A layer of fat surrounds the kidney and the adrenal gland. This fat layer is enclosed by a covering called the capsule. The inside of the kidney is made up of an outer area called the cortex. The cortex contains the nephrons where urine is made. Towards the centre of the kidney there are triangle-shaped areas called renal pyramids. At the centre of the kidney in an area called the renal pelvis where urine collects. Connected to the renal pelvis is a tube called the ureter. To the side of the kidney are two blood vessels. The renal artery carries blood into the kidney. Blood leaves the kidney through a large vessel called the renal vein or (vena cava). Also shown in the diagram are groups of bean shaped structures called lymph nodes. These are close to the kidney and the blood vessels going in to it.