Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Diabetic Nephropathy Anatomy

To better understand diabetic nephropathy, it helps to understand the anatomy of the kidneys.

The kidneys are located in the back of the abdomen, below the ribcage and on either side of the spine. Each kidney weighs about 1/4 pound (0.6 kg) and is about the size of a fist. The kidneys filter waste from the bloodstream and produce urine. The kidneys also regulate the salt and water balance for the body.


  • Kidney
  • Kidney cross section
  • Kidney cross section close-up
  • Kidney collecting system
  • Genitourinary system

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Diabetic Nephropathy References
  1. Olson DE, Norris SL. Diabetes in older adults. Overview of AGS guidelines for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in geriatric populations. Geriatrics. 2004 Apr;59(4):18-24. [15086070]
  2. Shlipak M. Diabetic nephropathy. Clin Evid. 2004 Dec;(12):814-33. [15865682]
  3. Thorp ML. Diabetic nephropathy: common questions. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Jul 1;72(1):96-9. [16035688]
  4. Wittmann I, Molnar GA, Degrell P, et al. Prevention and treatment of diabetic nephropathy. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2005 Jun;68 Suppl1:S36-42. [15955373]
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