Bowman’s Capsule


Other Known AliasesCapsula glomeruli, glomerular capsule

DefinitionDouble walled, cup-like capsule surrounding the glomerulus

Image result for bowman's capsule

Clinical SignificanceIt is made up of two poles: a vascular pole (afferent and efferent arterioles) and a urinary pole (proximal convoluted tubule). Within the capsule, there is a parietal layer and visceral layer with a space in between.  This is where ultrafiltration takes place and urine is filtered from the blood.

History – Named after Sir William Bowman (1816-1892), who was an English ophthalmologist, histologist, and anatomist, and first identified this structure in 1841.  He published his findings at the age of 25 and was awarded The Royal Medal by the Royal Society of  London.

He was well known for his extensive use microscopes in visualizing structures of the human body and publishing two works with his mentor, Robert Bentley Todd, entitled “Physiological Anatomy and Physiology of Man” and “Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology”.

William Bowman.jpg

The Cyclopaedia Of Anatomy And Physiology


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  4. Whonamedit – dictionary of medical eponyms. http://www.whonamedit.com
  5. Bowman W.  On the Structure and Use of the Malpighian Bodies of the Kidney.  Phil Trans R Soc Lond.  1842;132:57-80
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