Renal circulation

The circulation to and from the kidneys.

The renal circulation receives around 20% of the cardiac output. It branches from the abdominal aorta and returns blood to the ascending vena cava. It is the blood supply to the kidney, and contains many specialized blood vessels.


The table below shows the path that blood takes when it travels through the glomerulus, traveling "down" the arteries and "up" the veins. However, this model is greatly simplified for clarity and symmetry. Some of the other paths and complications are described at the bottom of the table.

The interlobar artery and vein (not to be confused with interlobular) are between two renal lobes, also known as the renal column (cortex region between two pyramids).

Arteries (down)Veins (up)
Abdominal aortaVena cava
Renal artery (Note 1)Renal vein
Segmental arteries (Note 2) -
Lobar arteries -
Interlobar arteryInterlobar vein
Arcuate arteriesArcuate vein
Interlobular artery (Note 3)Interlobular vein
Afferent arteriolesEfferent arterioles (Note 4)

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