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Renal Papilla
Kidney Lobe

Renal Papilla

Papilla renalis

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Quick Facts

The renal papilla is the blunted apex of a renal pyramid, found in the inner zone of the renal medulla and projecting into a minor calix (Dorland, 2011).

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Structure and/or Key Feature(s)

The renal papillae are described as the apex or pointed end of each renal pyramid. Each papilla projects into a minor calyx, which lies in the central space of the renal pelvis.

A distinct feature of papillae is their sieve-like appearance, which can be attributed to the presence of many small openings on their surface. Each opening represents a small tubule called the papillary duct, into which the collecting tubules within the renal pyramid converge.

Anatomical Relations

Renal papillae are located the apex of the renal pyramids at the junction of the renal medulla and renal pelvis.


Renal papillae carry renal filtrate from the papillary ducts to the minor calyces of the renal pelvis via papillary ducts.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Renal papillary necrosis


Dorland, W. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders.

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