ninja icon


•  Drawing and labelling a diagram of the human kidney

The kidney functions as the blood’s filtration and water balancing system – it removes metabolic wastes for excretion

  • Blood enters the kidneys via the renal artery and exits the kidneys via the renal vein
  • Blood is filtered by specialised structures called nephrons which produce urine
  • The urine is transported from the kidneys via the ureter, where it is stored by the bladder prior to excretion

Structure of the Human Kidney

My Image 1 My Image 2

  Click on the image to show a simpler representation (for drawing)

ninja icon


•  The composition of blood in the renal artery is different from that in the renal vein

The kidney contains specialised structures called nephrons which function to filter the blood and eliminate wastes

  • Consequently, the composition of blood entering the kidney (via renal artery) differs to that exiting the kidney (via renal vein)

Blood in the renal vein (i.e. after the kidney) will have:

  • Less urea (large amounts of urea is removed via the nephrons to form urine)
  • Less water and solutes / ions (amount removed will depend on the hydration status of the individual)
  • Less glucose and oxygen (not eliminated, but used by the kidney to generate energy and fuel metabolic reactions)
  • More carbon dioxide (produced by the kidneys as a by-product of metabolic reactions)

Structural Organisation of the Kidneys

kidney organisation