Hemodynamic investigation of the left renal vein in pediatric varicocele: Doppler US, venography, and pressure measurements

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Kim, Woo Sun; Cheon, Jung-Eun; Kim, In-One; Kim, Seung Hyup; Yeon, Kyung Mo; Kim, Kwang Myung; Choi, Hwang
Issue Date
Radiological Society of North America
Radiology 2006;241(1):228-234
Manometry*PhlebographyProspective StudiesRenal Veins/*physiopathology/radiography/ultrasonography*Ultrasonography, DopplerVaricocele/*physiopathology/radiography/ultrasonography*Venous Pressure
PURPOSE: To evaluate prospectively the hemodynamic state of the left renal vein with Doppler ultrasonography (US) and venography in pediatric patients with varicocele to assess the "nutcracker phenomenon." MATERIALS AND METHODS: The institutional review board considered this study ethically sound, and parental informed consent was obtained for all subjects. Doppler US of the left renal vein was performed in 27 consecutive boys with varicocele (age range, 7-15 years; mean, 11.9 years) and in 20 boys without varicocele as control subjects (age range, 7-17 years; mean, 11.4 years). Doppler US was used to evaluate left renal vein diameters and peak velocities in the proximal left renal vein near the renal hilum and in the left renal vein between the aorta and superior mesenteric artery (aortomesenteric portion). The diameter ratios and peak velocity ratios between two sites were obtained. For statistical comparison of results, the t test was used. Left renal venography and renocaval pressure measurement were performed in 13 patients with varicocele. The Fisher exact test was used to evaluate the associations between the nutcracker phenomenon (renocaval pressure gradient >/=3 mm Hg) and the development of collateral veins. RESULTS: The diameters of the proximal left renal vein and the peak velocities in the aortomesenteric portion of the left renal vein were significantly different between the varicocele group and the control group (P < .001). The diameter ratios (5.7 +/- 1.8 [standard deviation]) and peak velocity ratios (5.2 +/- 2.6) in patients with varicocele were significantly higher than those in control subjects (3.5 +/- 1.0 and 3.1 +/- 0.8, respectively) (P < .005). According to findings at left renal venography (n = 13), 10 patients (77%) met the criteria for the nutcracker phenomenon. The nutcracker phenomenon was significantly associated with the development of collateral veins (P = .035). CONCLUSION: Doppler US and venography of the left renal vein can show hemodynamic changes of the left renal vein and depict the presence of the nutcracker phenomenon in pediatric varicocele.
0033-8419 (Print)
1527-1315 (Electronic)
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College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원)Radiology (영상의학전공)Journal Papers (저널논문_영상의학전공)
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