OBJECTIVE: The normal anatomic course of the left renal vein (LRV) from the kidney to inferior vena cava (IVC) is usually preaortic. It is called retroaortic left renal vein (RLRV) when located between the aorta and vertebra; the circumaortic left renal vein (CLRV) has both a preaortic and retroaortic course. In this study, we aimed to find the incidence and characteristics of LRV abnormalities in routine abdominal CT and MR examinations conducted in our clinic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 2189 abdominal CT and MR examinations, performed between April 2007 and June 2009, were reviewed retrospectively for retroaortic and circumaortic LRV abnormalities. RESULTS: LRV abnormalities were detected in 50 (2.3%) examinations. Forty-four of these (2%) were RLRV and 6 (0.3%) were circumaortic LRV abnormalities. CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative knowledge of LRV abnormalities facilitates the safe performance of surgery and reveals the clinical symptoms. It is easy to see LRV and its drainage way on routine CT and MR imagings
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