Histology Fact Sheet: Ureter

Anatomy of the Ureter

Each kidney is connected to the urinary bladder by a ureter.  The ureter is a muscular tube.  It is about 25 to 28 cm long. 

Histology of the Ureter

There will be a lumen with the ureter.  Typically, there is a star shape to the inner portion of the ureter. The ureter consists of three layers of tissue. 

Histology of ureter. Histology slide courtesy of an anonymous donation.


histology of ureter

Histology of the Mucosa

The inner layer of the ureter is the mucosa. The mucosa conists of epithelium and lamina propria. 


The ureter is lined by transitional epithelium.  The epithelial layer is avascular.  It does nto containlymphatics. 

Lamina Prpria

Lamina propria is composed of areolar connective tissue.  The lamina propria contains blood vessels and nerves. The urinary sites have no muscularis mucosae, and therefore, the lamina propria and the submucosa tend to merge.  Sometimes the connective tissue closest to the mucularis is called the submucosa. There is not a distinct submucosa.

Histology of the Muscularis

The middle layer is the muscularis.  This consists of smooth muscle.  There is an inner longitudinal, middle circular and outer longitudinal layer of smooth muscle. The outer longitudinal layer is not present in the entire ureter.  The main function of the muscularis is peristalsis which propels the urine.


The outer layer, the fibrous coat, is a supporting layer of fibrous connective tissue. Adipose tissue is present in the adventitia. A portion of the ureter has serosa covering it.


Histology: A Text and Atlas
Michael H. Ross/Edward J. Reith

National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

http://www.training.seer.cancer.gov; funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program, via contract number N01-CN-67006, with Emory University, Atlanta SEER Cancer Registry, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.