Renal pyramids

Medically reviewed by Healthline Medical Team on December 9, 2014

Renal pyramids are kidney tissues that are shaped like cones. Another term for renal pyramids is malpighian pyramids. Between seven and eighteen pyramids exist in the innermost part of the kidney, which is called the renal medulla; in humans, there are usually only seven of the pyramids.

The base of each pyramid faces the outer portion of the kidney, which is called the renal cortex. The renal cortex is located between the renal medulla and the renal capsule. The renal capsule is defined as the layer that surrounds the kidneys with tough fibrous tissue. The capsule is covered in a connective fatty tissue.

Renal pyramids appear as though they are striped because they are situated in segments of parallel nephrons. The nephron is the basic functional and structural unit of the kidney that filters the blood that regulates water concentration and soluble substances such as sodium salts. After filtering, what is needed is reabsorbed and the rest is excreted as waste or urine. Once the waste is eliminated, the blood pressure and volume are regulated.

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