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International Journal of Anatomical Variations

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Retroaortic left renal vein – developmental and clinical implications

Author(s): Trisha A. Fluckiger, Asha S. Eapen, Gaganpreet K. Bhattal and Anita R. Joy*

Normal renal vascular anatomy has renal veins draining deoxygenated blood from the kidneys into the inferior vena cava (IVC). Since the IVC is situated to the right of the midline, the left renal vein typically runs anterior to the abdominal aorta and drains into it. Routine dissection of the posterior abdomen of a 76-year-old male donor, presented a variant left renal vein. In contrast to the expected anatomy, the left renal vein displayed a retroaortic course. An understanding of normal renal vasculature aids in diagnosis of vascular variations in the posterior abdomen, and hence the dissection team proceeded to document the variation using digital photography. Additionally, a thorough literature review was carried out to understand the developmental basis of the variation, pathogenesis, mechanisms, treatment options and clinical implications in patients. The findings of the dissection are presented along with a comprehensive review of the development of renal vasculature.


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