What is difference between renal sinus and renal pelvis?

Humans are indeed a complex organism. The many organs and systems in the human body work to help humans live and strive. It is amazing how the human body works and we should be grateful if we are healthy as we are able to function normally. You may not have the  time to be thinking of the urination process as the moment we have the sensation of urinating, we straight up go to the toilet. Do you know that the urination process plays an important role in the body? In this DoctorOnCall’s article, we will be learning a bit more on the urination process and specifically the differences between renal sinus and renal pelvis.

Why is urination important for humans? Urination removes metabolic products and toxic waste that has been filtered by the kidney. It helps to maintain the fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Urination occurs as a result of the brain sending signals to the sphincters (a muscular structure that controls flow of urine) to relax and the muscular bladder to tighten before urine is squeezed through the urethra and leaving the bladder. Frequency of urination depends on how quick the kidney produces urine and capacity of the bladder to comfortably hold the urine.

There are a number of structures in the kidney that play a role in the urination system. A person may get confused between the renal sinus and renal pelvis as it may seem the same thing and located around the centre of the kidney. Below are differences between renal sinus and renal pelvis:

Renal sinus

A fat-filled cavity in the middle part of the kidney that holds many kidney structures such as renal pelvis, renal calyces, blood vessels and nerves. The main function of renal sinus is a compartment for kidney parts and protects these structures with its fat padding wrapping other structures. The amount of fat in the kidney’s renal sinus gradually increases with age and body weight. Most common disorder affecting the renal sinus is a cyst that often goes unnoticed as it does not exhibit symptoms.

Renal pelvis

A funnel shaped area where urine flows. It is a large cavity or space which collects urine that is produced from the kidney. It is continuous with the ureter (a tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder). Common diseases affecting renal pelvis are inflammation of the kidney and the renal pelvis known as pyelonephritis. Another common disease is hydronephrosis as a result of obstruction of urine outflow.

It can be concluded that renal sinus and renal pelvis do have different structures and purposes. Knowing the differences not only helps to have a better understanding of its function but also enables healthcare providers to understand what diseases are possibly caused when such structures are affected. To identify diseases affected by the kidney, simple tests such as blood tests and urinalysis can help evaluate the kidney function. Further tests such as imaging tests like kidney ultrasound, CT scan or MRI can help healthcare providers get closer look at the kidneys. In some cases, kidney biopsy may be done to find the exact causes of kidney issues.

How to prevent from Dengue

You may not be able to get protected from all diseases involving the kidney but it is worth knowing that you may actually lower the risk of experiencing kidney issues. Taking preventative measures such as drinking plenty of water, practising balanced healthy meals and regular exercises can help lower the risk for most kidney problems. If you have a family that has been diagnosed with diseases related to the kidney, understanding the risk factor and regular health screening can help you understand what to do to help reduce the likelihood of acquiring one.