Renal fascia

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

The kidney and the adipose capsule are enclosed in a sheath of fibrous tissue continuous with the subperitoneal fascia, and named the renal fascia (also known as Gerota's fascia after the Romanian anatomist Dimitrie Gerota).

At the lateral border of the kidney the renal fascia splits into an anterior and a posterior layer.

  • The anterior layer is carried medialward in front of the kidney and its vessels, and is continuous over the aorta with the corresponding layer of the opposite side.

Above the suprarenal gland the two layers of the renal fascia fuse, and unite with the fascia of the diaphragm; below they remain separate, and are gradually lost in the subperitoneal fascia of the iliac fossa.

The renal fascia is connected to the fibrous tunic of the kidney by numerous trabeculæ, which traverse the adipose capsule, and are strongest near the lower end of the organ.

Behind the fascia renalis is a considerable quantity of fat, which constitutes the paranephric body.

The kidney is held in position partly through the attachment of the renal fascia and partly by the apposition of the neighboring viscera.


The renal fascia relates to the other layers in the following manner (moving from innermost to outermost):

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