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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Veins: Abdomen: Renal, Splenic, and Testicular Veins

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Veins: Abdomen

Renal, Splenic, and Testicular Veins

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


The renal veins show less variation than do the renal arteries. One study found multiple renal veins to be rare on the left side (1%) and common on the right side (28%).

In another study, the right renal vein was found to have one to three accessories (18% of 203 cases) and the left renal vein to have one or two accessories (9% of 203 cases).

Poynter pointed out that the renal veins show a tendency to form two or more trunks as the arteries do, but in the veins the frequency is only about 7%.

In about 2% of cases (1.8-2.4% of all abdominal CT scans), the left renal vein may be retroaortic or even circumaortic; either single vessel or doubled with one limb anterior and the other posterior to the aorta reported frequency 1.5-4.4% of all abdominal CT scans), or it may form a circumaortic renal venous collar (reported frequency 1.5-8.7%).

The right renal vein may be doubled, even though the left renal vein is usually single.

The left renal may anastomose with the splenic vein and receive lumbar veins.

The renal and testicular veins show many irregularities when the left inferior vena cava persists.

Poynter reported a case where the testicular consisted of a number of of intercommunicating trunks, some of which opened into the common iliac vein.

Communication between the vena cava and accessory renal veins is not unusual nor is an anastomosis between the splenic and left renal veins. The vena spermatica interna has been reported forming an anastomosis with the splenic vein.

Lejars found the left azygos (hemiazygos) vein communicating with the left renal vein in 88% of subjects studied.

Zumstein (1895) reported that the right testicular opened into the right renal vein 4 times in 220 observations.

Image 175, Image 426, Image 428A, Image 428B, Image 428C, Image 428D, Image 428E, Image 479, Image 506, Image 64

Circumaortic left renal vein

Image 395

Retroaortic Left Renal Vein

Image 173, Image 174

Spermatic and Testicular

Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 204, Image 216


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