Figure 18

Renal autoregulatory mechanism. Because the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is so responsive to changes in the glomerular forces, highly efficient mechanisms have been developed to maintain a stable intrarenal hemodynamic environment [16]. These powerful mechanisms adjust vascular smooth muscle tone in response to various extrinsic disturbances. During changes in arterial pressure, renal blood flow and the GFR are autoregulated with high efficiency as a consequence of adjustments in the vascular resistance of the preglomerular arterioles. Although efferent resistance also can be regulated by other mechanisms, it does not participate significantly over most of the autoregulatory range. The GFR, filtered sodium load, and the intrarenal pressures are maintained stable in the face of various extrarenal disturbances by the autoregulatory mechanism. (Adapted from Navar [3].)

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