renal artery

Medical Dictionary

renal artery n.
An artery with its origin in the aorta and with distribution to the kidney.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
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renal artery

one of the pair of large blood vessels that branch off from the abdominal aorta (the abdominal portion of the major artery leading from the heart) and enter into each kidney. (The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that remove waste substances from the blood and aid in fluid conservation and in stabilization of the chemical composition of the blood.) At the inner concavity of each kidney there is an opening, known as the hilum, through which the renal artery passes. After passing through the hilum, the renal artery divides ordinarily into two large branches, and each branch divides into a number of smaller arteries, which bring blood to the nephrons, the functioning units of the kidney. Blood that has been processed by the nephrons ultimately reaches the renal vein, which carries it back to the inferior vena cava and to the right side of the heart.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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