Accessory renal artery

Dr Calum Worsley and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Accessory renal arteries are a common variant and are present in ~25% (range 20-30%) and are bilateral in ~10% of the population 1. Their proper identification is of utmost importance for surgical planning prior to live donor transplantation 2,3 and renal artery embolization for various reasons 4,5.

The term extra renal artery may be used 6, with a subclassification into:

  • aberrant renal artery: supplying the superior and/or inferior pole of the kidney
  • accessory renal artery: supplying the renal hilum

Accessory renal arteries occur bilaterally in 10-15% of cases:

  • single renal artery arising from the abdominal aorta: 70%
  • double renal arteries: ~20% (range 14-23%)
  • triple renal arteries: ~2.5% (range 1-4%)
  • quadruple renal arteries: <1%

Most commonly accessory renal arteries arise from the abdominal aorta and supply the inferior pole of the kidney, although rarely they can arise from:

History and etymology

The first recorded case of multiple renal arteries was described by Eustachius in 1552 7.

Anatomy: Abdominopelvic

Anatomy: Abdominopelvic

Article information

rID: 25835
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Accessory renal arteries
  • Extra renal areteries
  • Aberrant renal artery
  • Aberrant renal arteries
  • Extra renal artery

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: illustration
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 1: MRA
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2: causing PUJ obstruciton
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 3: bilateral accessory
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 4: with aortic aneurysm
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 5
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 6: bilateral
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 7: bilateral variants
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 8: triple right renal arteries
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.