Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Elsevier
Publish with us
Left Renal Vein
Cardiovascular System

Left Renal Vein

Vena renalis sinistra

Read more

Quick Facts

Origin: Union of anterior and posterior branches of renal veins at the renal hilum.

Course: Horizontal course to reach the inferior vena cava.

Tributaries: The left renal vein receives the left testicular (males) or ovarian (females) vein, left suprarenal vein, a communication with the lumbar veins, hemi-azygos and inferior phrenic veins. There are no tributaries of the right renal vein.

Drainage: The kidneys.

Complete Anatomy
The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform
Try it for Free

Origin

The renal veins originate from the union of the anterior and posterior branches, which are formed at the base of the renal pyramids.

Course

Both renal veins take a retroperitoneal, horizontal course to drain into the inferior vena cava. As they run towards the inferior vena cava, they travel anterior to the renal arteries.

The left renal vein is much longer than the right renal vein as it has to travel over the aorta in order to reach the inferior vena cava.

Tributaries

Due to the location of the inferior vena cava on the right-hand side of the body, the left renal vein is longer and receives more tributaries than the right renal vein. The left renal vein receives the left gonadal vein at approximately a 90-degree angle, the left suprarenal vein, a communicating branch from the lumbar veins and often, hemiazygos, and inferior phrenic vein.

Structures Drained

The renal veins are large caliber veins that drain the medulla and cortex of the kidneys.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Renal Vein

ScienceDirect image

The left renal vein most commonly follows a course between the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) anteriorly and the aorta posteriorly, although it may also pass posterior to the aorta (retroaortic or circumaortic renal vein).

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy