The renal veins are veins that drain the kidney. They connect the kidney to the inferior vena cava. They carry the blood purified by the kidney.
It is usually singular to each kidney, except in the condition "multiple renal veins".
It also divides into 2 divisions upon entering the kidney:
- the anterior branch which receives blood from the anterior portion of the kidney and,
- the posterior branch which receives blood from the posterior portion.
Often, each renal vein will have a branch that receives blood from the ureter.
Because the inferior vena cava is on the right half of the body, the left renal vein is generally the longer of the two.
Because the inferior vena cava is not laterally symmetrical, the left renal vein often receives the following veins:
This is in contrast to the right side of the body, where these veins drain directly into the IVC.
Diseases associated with the renal vein include renal vein thrombosis (RVT) and nutcracker syndrome (renal vein entrapment syndrome).
Frontal section through the kidney
Diagram showing completion of development of the parietal veins.
The venæ cavæ and azygos veins, with their tributaries.
Human kidneys viewed from behind with spine removed.