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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
Superior vesical artery, Vaginal artery, Ureteral branches of renal artery
Ureteric bud
Identifiers
Gray's p.1225
MeSH Ureter
Dorlands
/Elsevier
Ureter
TA A08.2.01.001
FMA 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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74 news items

 
6abc.com
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 07:58:15 -0700

"The stone may break off and cause obstruction of the ureter," said Dr. Tasian Even a 4-millimeter stone can cause pain. Sometimes it's sharp, and sometimes it moves around. Marian said, "She kept saying, 'Well, it hurts here, it hurts here.'" Family ...
 
Medscape
Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:11:15 -0700

Kidney, ureter, and bladder X-ray and intravenous pyelogram made up the remaining 13%. The highest odds for initial CT use were observed for children living in the East South Central states of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, whereas the ...
 
Dallas Morning News
Mon, 27 Oct 2014 15:40:31 -0700

Bladder and ureter damage accounted for most of the increased number of injuries in the robot-assisted operations. The study, published online in Obstetrics & Gynecology, also found that robotic surgery to remove the ovaries cost an average of $2,504 ...
 
Chicago Sun-Times
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:01:28 -0700

He had radical surgery to remove his cancerous bladder, prostate and part of his right ureter in July of 2006. He spent 19 days at Loyola University Medical Center and emerged cancer-free. George submitted his letter of resignation in 2012, as all ...
 
Royal Gazette
Thu, 09 Oct 2014 04:03:45 -0700

A woman is suing two doctors over claims that they accidentally cut her ureter during a surgery in 2006. Nanette Snowden has launched a legal action against two doctors — Terri-Lynn Emery and Charles Dyer — for “beach of duty of care”, but counsel ...

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:20:40 -0700

He had radical surgery to remove his cancerous bladder, prostate and part of his right ureter in July of 2006. He spent 19 days at Loyola University Medical Center and emerged cancer-free. George submitted his letter of resignation in 2012, as all ...
 
New York Times (blog)
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:12:27 -0700

Bladder and ureter damage accounted for most of the increased number of injuries in the robot-assisted operations. The study, published online in Obstetrics & Gynecology, also found that robotic oophorectomy cost an average of $2,504 more than ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Sat, 25 Oct 2014 14:02:42 -0700

'The skill is getting stitching of the blood vessels and the ureter – the tube leading to the bladder – done within that time-frame using cameras to guide you. It's not something that can be learned overnight and there is quite a steep learning curve ...
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