Under normal conditions each kidney is supplied by a single renal artery which arises from the side of the aorta, a little below the origin of the superior mesenteric. Each renal artery, before reaching the hilum of the kidney which it supplies, divides into from three to live branches, which enter the substance of the kidney independently at the hilum.
The primitive kidney is a segmental organ, and its primitive vessels are probably segmental, i. e., one artery for each segment, so that the persistence of the embryonic condition would mean that each kidney, instead of being supplied by a single renal artery, might receive from two to five renal arteries. Such supernumerary vessels represent a primitive condition, and the accessory arteries may arise close together from the aorta, or their points of origin may be widely separated.
The varieties of accessory arteries which most frequently occur are:
EISENDRATH DN, STRAUSS DC. THE SURGICAL IMPORTANCE OF ACCESSORY RENAL ARTERIES. JAMA. 1910;55(16):1375–1377. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330160043015
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