Which anatomic and functional changes contribute to a decrease in renal blood flow over time?

Updated: Jul 21, 2021
  • Author: Pradeep Arora, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Ischemic obsolescence of cortical glomeruli is predominant, with relative sparing of the renal medulla. Juxtamedullary glomeruli see a shunting of blood from afferent to efferent arterioles, resulting in redistribution of blood flow favoring the renal medulla. These anatomic and functional changes in renal vasculature appear to contribute to an age-related decrease in renal blood flow.

Renal hemodynamic measurements in aged humans and animals suggest that altered functional response of the renal vasculature may be an underlying factor in diminished renal blood flow and increased filtration noted with progressive renal aging. The vasodilatory response is blunted in the elderly when compared with younger patients.


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