A study of histological changes during development of human fetal kidney in later half of gestation

Rajni Thakur, Anjana Tiwari


Background: Prenatal period is a very crucial time for human development. It is important to know the normal developmental of human kidney for better understanding of various congenital renal conditions.

Methods: This study was conducted in the department of anatomy, Pt. J. N. M. medical college Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India. The materials for study (50 fetuses of gestational age between16 week to 40 weeks from cases of abortions, stillbirth from premature and normal deliveries with apparently normal history of gestation) were obtained from the labour room of the R. N. T. district hospital Kondagaon, Chhattisgarh, India. Fetal kidneys were dissected out; histological slides were made, stained with Hematoxylin and eosin and observed under light microscope.

Results: A Subcapsular nephrogenic zone was seen in all kidneys up to 36 weeks of gestational age. Differentiation of kidney into cortex and medulla was seen in all the specimens. Presence of Bowman’s space was seen in 90-95% of glomeruli and vascular pole were present in 65-70% of glomeruli, in all specimens of different gestational age. Parietal epithelial lining of Bowman’s capsule was lined by cuboidal epithelium in immature glomeruli but this showed a gradual transition to a flat variety, with the further maturation of the glomeruli. Proportion of glomeruli with many lobulations, went on increasing with increasing gestational age.

Conclusions: From the above findings, it can be concluded that although formation of new glomeruli occurs up to 36 weeks of intrauterine life, differentiation and maturation continues until the last week of third trimester of gestation.


Cortex, Human fetal kidney, Gestational age, Glomeruli, Medulla, Nephrogenic zone

Full Text:



Dyson M. Urinary System. In: Williams PL, Bannister LH. Berry MM. Collins P, Dyson M, Dussek JE, et al, eds. Gray’s anatomy, 38th ed. Publisher: Churchill Livingstone, New York Edinburgh, London, 1995:1815-1828.

Sampaio FJ. Analysis of kidney volume growth during the fetal period in human. J Urol. 2007;178(4):1570-4.

Osathanondh V, Potter EL. Development of human kidney as shown by micro-dissection: I Preparation of tissue with reasons for possible misinterpretation of observations. Arch Pathol. 1963;76:271-6.

Osthanondh V, Potter EL. Development of human kidney as shown by micro-dissection: II Preparation of tissue with reasons for possible misinterpretations of observations. Arch Pathol. 1963;76:277-89.

Mishra S, Dinesh A, Kaul JM. Morphological and morpho-metrical study of human renal development during midgestation period. J Anat Soc India. 2006;55(2):5-10.

Syed SA, Joshi RA, Herekar NG. Histogenesis of kidney in human fetuses. Int J Recent Trends Sci Technol. 2012;3(2):44-8.

Dakovic-Bjelakovic M, Cukuranovic R, Antic S, Bjelakovic G, Mitic D. Quantitative analysis of the nehron during human fetal kidney development. Vojnosanit Pregl. 2005;62(4);281-6.

Hosapatna M, Bangera H, Souza AD, Das A, Souza AS, Ankolekar VH. Histological differentiation of human fetal kidney. IAIM. 2015;2(7):49-54.

Tank KC, Saiyad SS, Pandya AM, Akbari VJ, Dangar KP. A study of histogenesis of human fetal kidney. Int J Bio Med Res., 2012;3(1):1315-21.

Ram KS, Sharma A, Sharma M, Goel N, Sahni D. Histogeesis of fetal kidney in fetuses of different gestationalage groups. J Anat Sci. 2015;23(1):1-4.

Chikkannaiah P, Roy M, Kangle R, Patil PV. Glomerulogenesis: can it predict the gestational age? a study of 176 fetuses. Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2012;55:303-7.

Sharma S, Raina S. Study of human fetal kidney. Int J Anat Res. 2014;2(4):785-90.

Mishra S, Dinesh A, Kaul JM. Morphological and morpho-metrical study of Human renal development during midgestational period. J Anat Soc India. 2006;55(2):5-10.

Maria H, Daudt L. Diagnosis of the human fetal age based on the development of the normal kidney. Brazilian J Pathol Med Laboration. 2002;38(2):1-10.