noun, plural: renal cortexes or renal cortices
The kidney is the organ responsible for filtering blood and producing urine. In vertebrates, there are two kidneys located on the left and the right sides at the back of the abdominal cavity, particularly in the retroperitoneal space. In humans, the left and the right kidneys are asymmetrical. The left kidney is relatively higher and slightly bigger than the right kidney. As for the gross anatomy, there are two major regions in the kidney. These are the renal cortex and the renal medulla. The outer region is the renal cortex whereas the inner part is the renal medulla.
The renal cortex lies in between the renal capsule and the renal medulla. It consists of the glomeruli, the proximal convoluted tubules, and the distal convoluted tubules. Blood vessels and cortical collecting ducts are also present in the renal cortex. The renal cortex forms cortical columns, which extend down the renal medulla, in between the renal pyramids.
The renal cortex is the site of ultrafiltration of blood as well as erythropoietin production.