Evaluating incidence and clinical importance of renal vein anomalies with routine abdominal multidetector computed tomography
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Purpose Renal vein anomalies are usually asymptomatic embryological developmental disorders. If unidentified, they can lead to significant morbidity during surgical explorations. This study aims to evaluate the type, frequency, clinical importance of renal vein anomalies in patients scanned with Multidetector Computed Tomography (MDCT). It was also investigated whether renal vein anomalies are associated with malignancies or their types. Methods Abdominal MDCT images of 8517 patients were examined retrospectively. Renal vein anomaly types, gender, age, and symptoms were recorded. Renal vein anomalies were divided into three subgroups as retroaortic left renal vein (RLRV), circumaortic left renal vein (CLRV), and double right renal vein (DRRV). The presence of malignancy and their types in patients with renal vein anomalies were noted. Malignancies were divided into five subgroups as lung, gastrointestinal system (GIS), genitourinary system, breast, and others. Results 156 patients had renal vein anomaly (1.8%). The prevalence of RLRV, CLRV, and DRRV were 1.1%, 0.3%, and 0.2%, respectively. Renal vein anomalies were more frequent in females. Malignancy was present in 89 (57.1%) out of 156 renal vein anomaly patients. Among these 89 patients, RLRV was found in 52 (58.4%), CLRV in 22 (24.7%), and DRRV in 15 (16.8%) patients. The presence of malignancy was present in more than half of the renal vein anomaly patients but there was no significant correlation (p = 0.1). This high ratio is probably due to the high number of cancer patients undergoing CT scan in our radiology department. Conclusions Renal vein anomalies are rare conditions, however, coexistence of renal vein anomalies and malignancies is not. An awareness of this entity before retroperitoneal surgeries is very important in order to avoid complications such as hemorrhage, transfusion, death, or conversion to open surgery.