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J Vasc Surg. 1988 Oct;8(4):415-21.

Mesoaortic compression of the left renal vein (the so-called nutcracker syndrome): repair by a new stenting procedure.

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Department of Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock 72205.


Compression of the left renal vein (LRV) between the superior mesenteric artery and the aorta has been termed the nutcracker syndrome. Although often asymptomatic, this syndrome may result in varicocele, ovarian vein syndrome, and rarely LRV hypertension, pelviureteral varices, hematuria, and flank pain. Previous surgical approaches have included nephrectomy, variceal ligation, nephropexy, or renocaval reimplantation. We report a new LRV stenting procedure that provided relief for a young woman incapacitated by daily left flank pain and microscopic hematuria. Phlebography of the LRV revealed mesoaortic compression associated with a pressure gradient of 12 mm Hg and preferential outflow down large pelviureteral varices. At operation compression of the LRV was corrected with an external stent of reinforced polytetrafluoroethylene. The patient was asymptomatic and free of hematuria for 9 months after operation and follow-up phlebography documented normal renocaval flow, elimination of the pressure gradient, and reduction of the pelviureteral varices. This represents the first description in the vascular surgical literature of this venous compression syndrome, which has been recognized in previous urologic and radiologic reports reviewed herein. Vascular surgeons should be cognizant of the nutcracker syndrome, and we recommend this new stenting procedure as a more simple and physiologic therapy than previous approaches to this problem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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