vas rectum

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First attested in 1750; Latin: vās (vessel) + rēctum (neuter nominative singular of rēctus, “straight”) = “straight vessel”.



vas rectum (plural vasa recta)

  1. (anatomy, usually in the plural) One of a number of straight vasa (tubes), specifically:
    1. (somewhat dated) A straight seminiferous tubule conveying semen from its pertaining tubulus seminiferus contortus (convoluted seminiferous tubule) to the rete testis of the testicle that contains it; now more commonly called the tubulus seminiferus rectus (straight seminiferous tubule). [1750–]
    2. (sometimes ,, more fully,vas rectum renis) Any one of many straight capillaries in the kidney that branch off from the arteriolae efferentes (efferent arterioles) of juxtamedullary nephrons, enter the medulla, and surround the loop of Henle, where they function to absorb water and to secrete salt and urea into the renal interstitium, thereby facilitating the production of concentrated urine. [1858–]
      • 1858, Lionel Smith Beale, Illustrations of the Constituents of Urine, Urinary Deposits, and Calculi, Fig. 1. g., page 3
        Long and almost straight vessels (vasa recta), into which the efferent vessel of those tufts situated at the bases of the pyramids, divides.
      • 2000, Christopher J. Lote, Principles of Renal Physiology, fourth edition, § 6.4, page 78
        The vasa recta are capillaries, mostly derived from the efferent arterioles of juxtamedullary nephrons, which have a ‘hairpin’ arrangement and dip far down into the renal medulla.
    3. Any one of numerous straight arteries that branch off from the arcades of the mesentery of the jejunum and ileum whence they head toward the small intestine. [most recent sense]
      • 1990, Jay H. Stein, Internal Medicine, third edition, page 395
        Bleeding from colonic diverticula is caused by rupture of the underlying vas rectum.



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