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The human body has two renal arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. One artery supplies the left kidney and one the right. As the primary vascular supply for these organs, the renal arteries carry a large percentage of the total blood flow. Between one-fourth and one-third of the heart’s output passes through them before the kidneys filter it.

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1. Anatomy and Structure of the Renal Arteries

Each renal artery is about 4 to 6 centimeters long and 5 to 6 millimeters in diameter. They connect to the abdominal aorta, which begins at the diaphragm. They enter the renal hilum, an opening in the front of the renal pelvis, at the inner concavity of each kidney. The arteries then split into two main branches. These branches split into smaller arterioles inside each kidney that deliver blood to the microscopic nephrons.

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