Renal vein

Last revised by Calum Worsley on 28 Nov 2023

The renal veins are asymmetric paired retroperitoneal veins that drain the kidneys

The renal vein is formed by the union of two-to-three renal parenchymal veins in the renal sinus. It emerges from the renal hilum anterior to the renal artery and drains into the inferior vena cava at the level of L2. 

The left renal vein is much longer, at 6-7 cm, than the right renal vein, at 3-4 cm, but they have a similar caliber (~1.2 cm). The left renal vein courses anteriorly to the abdominal aorta

  • small branches from kidney capsule, proximal ureter and renal pelvis

See article: renal vein anomalies

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: labeled 60 (right)
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  • Figure 1: venous development (Gray's illustrations)
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  • Case 2: labeled 68 (left)
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  • Case 3: labeled 91 (right)
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  • Case 4: labeled 62 (left)
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  • Case 5: labeled 48 (left)
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