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Multiple variations of the renal and testicular vessels: possible embryological basis and clinical importance

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During routine dissection of the abdominal cavity of a 55-year-old African male cadaver, multiple anomalies including renal and testicular vessels were encountered. The right kidney was supplied by three right hilar renal arteries arising from the abdominal aorta at different vertebral levels whereas only one left renal artery supplied the left kidney. On the right three renal veins drained the kidney into the inferior vena cava. In contrast, the left kidney was drained by a single renal vein which received a large primary posterior tributary. The primary posterior tributary had three tributaries from the posterior lumbar region. The right testis had two sources of arterial supply; one from the subcostal artery and another from the abdominal aorta. The left testis was supplied normally by a single testicular artery. The right testis was drained by four testicular veins as follows: one drained into the subcostal vein, the other two drained separately for a longer course and joined shortly before draining into the right main renal vein, the fourth one drained into the anterior aspect of the inferior vena cava at the level of the second lumbar vertebra. On the left, the testicle was drained by two testicular veins which travelled separately from the deep inguinal ring and joined shortly before they drain into the left renal vein. This variation may represent an immature form of complicated development of kidneys and testes. Additionally, emphasis must be put on preoperative vascular examination to avoid surgical complications from variant vessels in this region.

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The author is grateful to Prof. E. Mbajiorgu and Mr. H. Gangata for proof reading the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Pedzisai Mazengenya.

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This work was undertaken in accordance with the University of the Witwatersrand Ethics Committee on the use of human cadaver and skeletal remains for teaching and research, Ethics Reference Number W-CJ-101109-9.

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Mazengenya, P. Multiple variations of the renal and testicular vessels: possible embryological basis and clinical importance. Surg Radiol Anat 38, 729–733 (2016).

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