Vascular anatomy of the pig kidney glomerulus: a qualitative study of corrosion casts

Scanning Microsc. 1992 Sep;6(3):887-97; discussion 897-8.


Pig kidney glomerular vascular anatomy was studied by scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion casts. A generalized vascular architecture is presented to describe the pig kidney glomerulus based upon the observation of 3,800 vascular cast glomeruli. The relative simplicity of the pig glomerular vascular architecture has allowed the characterization of different vascular segments more completely than has been possible in other mammals. Based upon relationships to the afferent arteriole, a nomenclature and definition of primary, secondary, tertiary and anastomotic vessels is proposed for the distributing vessels comprising the glomerular tuft. The existence and formation of a large central hemispheric vessel deep within the confines of a glomerular hemisphere is micrographically documented. Micrographic evidence is presented supporting the formation of the single efferent arteriole by the merging of two central hemispheric vessels within the confines of the glomerular tuft. Failure of the merging of these two vessels may result in multiple efferent arterioles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arterioles / anatomy & histology
  • Corrosion Casting*
  • Female
  • Kidney Glomerulus / blood supply*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Swine