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Renal, Fluids, and Electrolytes (RFE): Week 1

Resources for the RFE course

Other Sources - Optional


  • Congenital Renal Pathology
  • Acute Renal Failure (Sections I-III)

Renal Physiology - YouTube

Weekly Objectives

Structure, Elements of Renal Function GFR and ARF

By the end of the week, students will be able to:

A. Water and Solute Homeostasis and the Kidney: Terms, Concepts, Definitions

  1. Describe the concept of homeostasis
  2. Differentiate exogenous versus endogenous wastes
  3. Describe what is meant by homeostasis, and examine how the kidney participates in the homeostasis of water and sodium
  4. Diagram the basic concept of body fluid compartments
  5. Define and differentiate between the following chemical concepts: osmolality, tonicity, equivalence, and molarity

B.  Gross and Micro-anatomy of the kidney

  1. Label gross anatomical structures of the kidney, including renal vasculature
  2. Assess the major steps in the embryologic development of the kidney and the collecting system, describing how these steps may relate to the following pathologies:
    - Cystic diseases of the kidney (ADPKD, ARPKD)
    - Duplication of the ureter
    - Horseshoe kidney
    - Renal agenesis
  3. Describe the major anatomical divisions of the kidney
    - cortex
    - medulla
    - anatomy of the renal micro-circulation
  4. Identify the characteristic histologic features of the following renal structures:
    - Glomerulus
    - Bowman’s space and capsule
    - Renal tubules
    - Renal calyces
    - Juxtaglomerular complex

C. Glomerular Filtration

  1. Diagram the ultra-structure of the glomerulus and the glomerular capillary wall
  2. Describe ultrafiltrate formation and the composition of glomerular filtrate
  3. Analyze the major physical determinants of glomerular filtration:
    - Starling forces
    - Afferent and efferent arteriolar resistance
    - The effect of renal plasma flow on oncotic pressure
  4. Describe what is meant by glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
  5. Define and calculate filtration fraction (FF) for a given substance
  6. Examine the major physiologic and neurohumeral regulators of glomerular filtration
  7. Describe the concept of clearance and examine the importance of creatinine clearance in assessing renal function
    Analyze the relationship between GFR and clearance