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OBJECTIVE: To present three cases of tumour thrombus in the retro-aortic renal vein (RARV) arising from left renal cell carcinomas (RCCs), a very rare event (<1:1000-2000 per case) and to discuss the embryological, radiological and surgical aspects of this anomaly. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Three cases of RCC with RARV thrombus presented in a 1-month period at one institution. RESULTS: All three cases were identified before surgery by computed tomography (CT) urograms and had a successful nephrectomy. CONCLUSION: RCC in the presence of RARVs is rare but can be identified on CT urogram. At nephrectomy, a midline laparotomy or full 'rooftop incision' is recommended, and any attempt to mobilize the kidney before dealing with the renal pedicle should be avoided.

Original publication




Journal article


Bju int

Publication Date





628 - 630


Aged, Aorta, Carcinoma, Renal Cell, Female, Humans, Kidney Neoplasms, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplastic Cells, Circulating, Nephrectomy, Renal Veins, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Treatment Outcome, Venous Thrombosis