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Jornal Vascular Brasileiro

versão impressa ISSN 1677-5449versão On-line ISSN 1677-7301

J. vasc. bras. vol.8 no.1 Porto Alegre jan./mar. 2009 



Renal artery aneurysm in a transplanted kidney: ex vivo graft repair and reimplantation



Cesar Roberto BusatoI; Carlos Alberto de Lima UtraboI; Wilson Freire de SousaII; Ricardo Zanetti GomesI; Joel Kengi HosoumeI; Eliziane HoeldtkeI; Rafael Inácio BrandãoIII; Dieyson Martins de Melo CostaIII

IVascular Surgery Service, Department of Surgery, Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Ponta Grossa (SCMPG), Ponta Grossa, PR, Brazil
IIUrology Service, Department of Surgery, SCMPG, Ponta Grossa, PR, Brazil
IIIResident, Vascular Surgery Service, Department of Surgery, SCMPG, Ponta Grossa, PR, Brazil





True aneurysm of a renal artery in a transplanted kidney is a rare occurrence. Treatment options depend on size and location of the aneurysm and the patient’s clinical condition. We report a case of a giant aneurysm of the renal artery in a transplanted kidney that was treated ex vivo and reimplanted in the right iliac fossa. Details of the surgical procedure are described.

Keywords: Renal artery aneurysm, renal autotransplant, complications in a transplanted kidney.




Kidney transplants currently represent a well-established therapy and are the treatment of choice for irreversible chronic kidney failure throughout the world. The greater survival rate of these patients has resulted in an increased likelihood of vascular complications due to atherosclerosis.1 Treatment of such complications requires surgical strategies that ensure the renal graft is protected.2 Surgery can be performed conventionally,in situ, using an endovascular technique,3 or, when anatomical conditions do not allow such an approach, by nephrectomy followed by hypothermic perfusion, correction of the vascular pathology and reimplantation of the kidney in the iliac fossa.4-7


Case report

A 51-year-old male patient received a renal transplant form a living donor 60 months ago. The surgery was performed uneventfully, and the patient remained asymptomatic up to 2 months ago, when, during a control, he started showing gradual increase in serum creatinine, reaching 2.7 mg/dL. He was then submitted to clinical investigation. Ultrasound showed aneurysmal dilatation of the transplanted renal artery, extending from the hilum to the external iliac artery anastomosis and with a mural thrombus. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (Figure 1) confirmed the findings and aneurysm size, measuring 3.9 x 4.0 x 6.5 cm.




O implante renal foi retirado da fossa ilíaca direita e recebeu tratamento ex vivo, sendo perfundido pela veia renal com solução de Euro-Collins. During bench surgery the aneurysm was found to have caused erosion of the parenchyma and was removed. The great saphenous vein was used to prepare a spiral vein graft with a diameter similar to that of the renal vein (Figure 2).


The kidney was reimplanted in the right iliac fossa so that the spiral vein graft was positioned between the stump of the renal vein and the common iliac vein. A segment of the great saphenous vein was used to make the bridge between the stump of the renal artery and the common iliac artery. An end-to-side anastomosis was performed between the urinary tract and the native ureter (Figure 3).


During the postoperative period, the patient’s renal function improved and creatinine fell to 1.4mg/dL. He was discharged from hospital without any complications.



Complications arising from renal artery aneurysms are associated with a threat to life from rupture, particularly in pregnant patients,8 and loss of the graft in cases of kidney transplant.9 Surgical treatment is recommended for aneurysms greater than 2 cm in diameter or that lead to some type of symptomatology as a result of their presence.10 In 1967 Ota et al. carried out the first ex vivo repair of a renal artery for renovascular hypertension.11 In 1971 Grein et al. used the same technique to correct a renal artery aneurysm.12 Richardson et al. described a case of a ruptured renal artery aneurysm in a pregnant patient with a transplanted kidney in 1990.13 Resection of an aneurysm in a transplanted kidney with local repair was described by Dunkow et al. in 199414 and Guleria et al. in 1998.15 More recently, use of endovascular techniques has proven to be particularly effective in cases with favorable anatomical conditions.3.16 The need to resect a long segment of the artery affected by the aneurysm and to sacrifice part of the renal vein involved in this case - both needed for the nephrectomy - required insertion of a venous segment in the renal artery stump and making of a spiral graft for the vein. Such condition forced an ex vivo repair and reimplantation of the kidney graft a second time.

Kidney reimplantation with extracorporeal vascular reconstruction is a complex technique recommended in cases where the arterial aneurysm cannot be corrected using either endovascular techniques or in situ treatment. It represents a valid alternative in specific cases.



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César Roberto Busato
Rua Saldanha da Gama, 425
CEP 84015-130 - Ponta Grossa, PR, Brazil
Tel.: +55 (42) 3028.4245
Fax: +55 (42) 3224.3288

Manuscript received July 29, 2008, accepted December 16, 2008.



No conflicts of interest declared concerning the publication of this article.
This study was presented as a poster at the X Paranaense Meeting of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, held in Curitiba, PR on May 9-10, 2008.


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