Renal papilla

Renal papilla

Kidney, with renal papilla labeled at upper right.

Latin Papilla Renalis
TA A08.1.01.027
FMA 15622

Anatomical terminology

The renal papilla is the location where the renal pyramids in the medulla empty urine into the minor calyx in the kidney. Histologically it is marked by medullary collecting ducts converging to form a papillary duct to channel the fluid. Transitional epithelium begins to be seen.

Clinical significance

Some chemicals toxic to the kidney, called nephrotoxins, exert their damage at the renal papillae. Damage to the renal papillae may result in death to cells in this region of the kidney, called renal papillary necrosis. The most common toxic causes of renal papillary necrosis are NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, acetylsalicylic acid, and phenylbutazone, in combination with dehydration. Perturbed renal papillary development has also been shown to be associated with onset of functional obstruction and renal fibrosis.[1][2][3]

Additional Images


  1. Wilkinson, L; Kurniawan, ND; Phua, YL; Nguyen, MJ; Li, J; Galloway, GJ; Hashitani, H; Lang, RJ; Little, MH (August 2012). "Association between congenital defects in papillary outgrowth and functional obstruction in Crim1 mutant mice.". The Journal of pathology. 227 (4): 499–510. doi:10.1002/path.4036. PMID 22488641.
  2. Phua, YL; Gilbert, T; Combes, A; Wilkinson, L; Little, MH (April 2016). "Neonatal vascularization and oxygen tension regulate appropriate perinatal renal medulla/papilla maturation.". The Journal of pathology. 238 (5): 665–76. doi:10.1002/path.4690. PMID 26800422.
  3. Phua, YL; Martel, N; Pennisi, DJ; Little, MH; Wilkinson, L (April 2013). "Distinct sites of renal fibrosis in Crim1 mutant mice arise from multiple cellular origins.". The Journal of pathology. 229 (5): 685–96. doi:10.1002/path.4155. PMID 23224993.

This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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