Double retroaortic left renal vein
Citation, DOI & article data
Double retroaortic left renal vein is a very rare entity that is usually clinically silent and detected incidentally at imaging, surgery, or autopsy.
The knowledge of anatomical variations helps the surgeon or interventionist to avoid complications during surgery and interventional procedures 4 and this entity is no exception. Though usually asymptomatic, this anomaly can rarely cause certain clinical symptoms and the knowledge of its existence can aid in the diagnosis.
The incidence of a retroaortic left renal vein is reported to be ~2% 1. Occurrence of a double left renal vein is ~2.5% of this group. Hence, the combination of both can be assumed to be rare.
Usually it is an incidental finding at imaging, surgery, or autopsy. Possible symptoms include 2,3:
The left renal vein originates from the primitive renal venous collar. The venous collar is formed by regression of the paired postcardinal veins. This process occurs around the eighth week of embryogenesis. Laterally, the venous collar is formed by paired dorsal and ventral primitive renal veins. These attach to the central ventral subcardinal and dorsal supracardinal veins which are paired. Variations are seen according to the persistence or regression of various parts of this system.
The two renal veins are called the superior and inferior left renal vein:
- 1. Kyung DS, Lee JH, Shin DY et-al. The double retro-aortic left renal vein. Anat Cell Biol. 2012;45 (4): 282-4. doi:10.5115/acb.2012.45.4.282 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 2. Nam JK, Park SW, Lee SD et-al. The clinical significance of a retroaortic left renal vein. Korean J Urol. 2010;51 (4): 276-80. doi:10.4111/kju.2010.51.4.276 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 3. Koc Z, Ulusan S, Tokmak N et-al. Double retroaortic left renal veins as a possible cause of pelvic congestion syndrome: imaging findings in two patients. Br J Radiol. 2006;79 (946): e152-5. doi:10.1259/bjr/24717606 - Pubmed citation
- 4. Karaman B, Koplay M, Ozturk E et-al. Retroaortic left renal vein: multidetector computed tomography angiography findings and its clinical importance. Acta Radiol. 2007;48 (3): 355-60. doi:10.1080/02841850701244755 - Pubmed citation