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Right Renal Vein
Cardiovascular System

Right Renal Vein

Vena renalis dextra

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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.

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


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.


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

A circumaortic left renal vein is an anatomic variant in which the left renal vein forms a ring around the aorta.

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