Anomalies of the inferior vena cava and renal veins and implications for renal surgery

Ahmed Eldefrawy, Mohan Arianayagam, Prashanth Kanagarajah, Kristell Acosta, Murugesan Manoharan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Abnormalities of the inferior vena cava (IVC) and renal veins are extremely rare. However, with the increasing use of computed tomography (CT), these anomalies are more frequently diagnosed. The majority of venous anomalies are asymptomatic and they include left sided IVC, duplicated IVC, absent IVC as well as retro-aortic and circumaortic renal veins. The embryological development of the IVC is complex and involves the development and regression of three sets of paired veins. During renal surgery, undiagnosed venous anomalies may lead to major complications. There may be significant hemorrhage or damage to vascular structures. In addition, aberrant vessels may be mistaken for lymphadenopathy and may be biopsied. In this review we discuss the embryology of the IVC and the possible anomalies of IVC and its tributaries paying particular attention to diagnosis and implications for renal surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-8
Number of pages5
JournalCentral European Journal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • Inferior vena cava
  • Renal veins
  • Venous anomalies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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