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Ureter
Urinary tract la.png
Ureter (Anatomical View)
Urinary system.svg
Ureter (Schematic View)
1. Human urinary system: 2. Kidney, 3. Renal pelvis, 4. Ureter, 5. Urinary bladder, 6. Urethra. (Left side with frontal section), 7. Adrenal gland
Vessels:
8. Renal artery and vein, 9. Inferior vena cava, 10. Abdominal aorta, 11. Common iliac artery and vein
With transparency:
12. Liver, 13. Large intestine, 14. Pelvis
Details
Latin Ureter
Precursor Ureteric bud
Superior vesical artery, Vaginal artery, Ureteral branches of renal artery
Identifiers
Gray's p.1225
MeSH A05.810.776
Dorlands
/Elsevier
Ureter
TA A08.2.01.001
FMA 9704
Anatomical terminology

In human anatomy, the ureters are tubes made of smooth muscle fibers that propel urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder. In the adult, the ureters are usually 25–30 cm (10–12 in) long and ~3–4 mm in diameter. Histologically, the ureter contains transitional epithelium and an additional smooth muscle layer in the more distal one-third to assist with peristalsis.

Structure[edit]

In humans, the ureters arise from the pelvis of each kidney, and descend on top of the psoas major muscle to reach the brim of the pelvis. Here, they cross in front of the common iliac arteries. They then pass down along the sides of the pelvis, and finally curve forwards and enter the bladder from its left and right sides at the back of the bladder.[1]:324–326 This is classically depicted as running "posteroinferiorly on the lateral walls of the pelvis and then curve anteriormedially to enter the bladder". The junction between the pelvis of the kidney and the ureters is known as the pelvoureteric junction and the junction between the ureter and the bladder as the vesicoureteric junction. At the entrance to the bladder, the ureters are surrounded by valves known as ureterovesical valves, which prevent the backflow of urine.[citation needed]

In females, the ureters pass through the mesometrium and under the uterine arteries on the way to the urinary bladder. An effective phrase for remembering this anatomical relationship is "water (ureters) under the bridge (uterine arteries or vas deferens).

Blood supply[edit]

The ureters receive a segmental arterial supply, which varies along its course.[1]:324–326

  1. The upper part of the ureter closest to the kidney is supplied by the renal arteries
  2. The middle part of the ureter is supplied by the common iliac arteries, direct branches from the abdominal aorta, and gonadal arteries (the testicular artery in men or ovarian artery in women)
  3. The lower part of the ureter closest to the bladder is supplied by branches from the internal iliac arteries,[1]:324–326 as well as[citation needed]:
  • Superior vesical artery
  • Uterine artery (in women only)
  • Middle rectal artery
  • Vaginal arteries (in women only)
  • Inferior vesical artery (in men only)

Within the periureteral adventitia these arteries extensively anastomose thus permitting surgical mobilization of the ureter without compromising the vascular supply as long as the adventitia is not stripped. Lymphatic and venous drainage mostly parallels that of the arterial supply.[2]

Innervation[edit]

The ureters are richly innervated by nerves that travel alongside the blood vessels. The primary sensation to the ureters is provided by nerves that come from T12-L2 segments of the spinal cord. Thus pain may be referred to the dermatomes of T12-L2, namely the back and sides of the abdomen, the scrotum (males) or labia majora (females) and upper part of the front of the thigh.[1]:324–326

Histology[edit]

The ureter is surrounded by urothelium, a type of transitional epithelium that is capable of responding to stretches in the ureters. The transitional epithelium may appear as a columnar epithelia when relaxed, and squamous epithelia when distended. Below the epithelium, a submucosa exists. The submucosa is made up of connective tissue interspersed with blood vessels, veins and lymphatics. that the ureter is surrounded by two muscular layers, an inner longitudinal layer of muscle, and an outer layer of muscle arranged circularly.[3]:324

In other animals[edit]

Ureters are also found in all other amniote species, although different ducts fulfill the same role in amphibians and fish.[4]

Function[edit]

The ureters are a component of the urinary system. Urine, produced by the kidneys, travels along the ureters to the bladder.

Clinical significance[edit]

Cancer of the ureters is known as ureteral cancer.

The ureters are also known for being extremely hard to work around during surgery and account for 80 percent of failed kidney transplants.[citation needed]

Injury[edit]

The ureter is injured in 0.2 per 1,000 cases of vaginal hysterectomies and 1.3 per 1,000 cases of abdominal hysterectomies,[5] near the infundibulopelvic (suspensory) ligament or where the ureter courses posterior to the uterine vessels.[6]

Kidney stones[edit]

A kidney stone can move from the kidney and become lodged inside the ureter, which can block the flow of urine, as well as cause a sharp cramp in the back, side, or lower abdomen.[7] The affected kidney could then develop hydronephrosis, should a part of the kidney become swollen due to blocked flow of urine.[8] There are three sites where a kidney stone will commonly become stuck:

  • at the ureteric junction of renal pelvis;
  • as the ureter passes over the iliac vessels;
  • where the ureter enters into the urinary bladder (vesicoureteric junction).

Reflux[edit]

Vesicoureteral reflux refers to the reflux of fluid from the bladder to the ureters during urination. This condition can be one cause of chronic urinary tract infections, particularly in children. Vesicoureteral reflux may be treated surgically, and is believed to have a genetic basis.[citation needed]

Additional images[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Drake, Richard L.; Vogl, Wayne; Tibbitts, Adam W.M. Mitchell; illustrations by Richard; Richardson, Paul (2005). Gray's anatomy for students. Philadelphia: Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone. ISBN 978-0-8089-2306-0. 
  2. ^ Wein, Alan J. (2011). Campbell-Walsh Urology, 10th. ed. Elsevier. p. 31. 
  3. ^ Lowe, Alan Stevens, James S. (2005). Human histology (3rd ed. ed.). Philadelphia, Toronto: Elsevier Mosby. ISBN 0-3230-3663-5. 
  4. ^ Romer, Alfred Sherwood; Parsons, Thomas S. (1977). The Vertebrate Body. Philadelphia, PA: Holt-Saunders International. p. 378. ISBN 0-03-910284-X. 
  5. ^ Burks FN, Santucci RA (June 2014). "Management of iatrogenic ureteral injury". Ther Adv Urol 6 (3): 115–24. doi:10.1177/1756287214526767. PMC 4003841. PMID 24883109. 
  6. ^ Santucci, Richard A. "Ureteral Trauma". Medscape. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Symptoms of Kidney Stones". MedicalBug. 1 January 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Resnick, Martin I; Lam, Mildred; Zipp, Thomas (4 September 2009). "Kidney Stones". NetWellness. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ureter — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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Tampabay.com

Tampabay.com
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 19:37:30 -0700

Brett, 23, had his left kidney removed in November 2012, after repeated episodes of pain while playing in the minors led to the discovery of a significant blockage in his ureter, the tube from the kidney to the bladder. (Due to a complication, he also ...
 
Washington Post
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 09:59:28 -0700

The waste flows into a bag that is attached to a small portion of the intestine or ureter that extends beyond the skin, called a stoma. The openings can be temporary or permanent. Burns's group estimates that about 750,000 people may be living with ...

MD News (press release)

MD News (press release)
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 12:52:30 -0700

Transplantation is an intricate procedure, requiring open surgery for the recipient, dissection of the abdominal wall and retroperitoneal space, and anastomosis of the renal artery, vein and donor ureter to connect the bladder. Experienced surgeons at ...

KERA News

KERA News
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 04:48:45 -0700

More recently, we use a medicine called tamsulosin, which is a men's prostate medicine that dilates the distal ureter (drainage tube) and can facilitate passage of the stones. Once they get above – depending on the person – five to six millimeters, we ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Mon, 06 Apr 2015 15:42:35 -0700

'Renal colic is caused by the stone suddenly blocking the ureter,' says Mr Leye Ajayi, consultant urological surgeon at the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth, London. The pain often comes on suddenly and can cause the patient to 'writhe around in ...

MyFox Chicago

MyFox Chicago
Fri, 03 Apr 2015 18:46:14 -0700

George had radical surgery to remove his cancerous bladder, prostate and part of his right ureter in July 2006. He spent 19 days at Loyola University Medical Center and emerged cancer-free at the time. But then, in March 2014, he revealed that the ...

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Tue, 31 Mar 2015 06:12:27 -0700

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Thu, 09 Apr 2015 20:11:15 -0700

The small stones, which can be located in the kidneys, ureter or bladder, can be painlessly passed out through urine. They can, however, cause pain if they become lodged in the urinary system, obstructing urine. Diet, hereditary factors, weather ...
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