How does a renal vein thrombus cause flank pain?

Updated: Dec 11, 2019
  • Author: Bradley C Gill, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Renal vein thrombosis is a relatively rare condition that can produce flank pain. By impairing renal outflow, a renal vein thrombus leads to the backup of blood within the renal parenchyma, which stretches the renal capsule and causes pain. Additionally, the impaired blood flow can lead to renal ischemia, which also creates discomfort. Obstruction of the renal vein can also result from more central pathologies of the venous system, as well as extrinisic compression of the venous system by a mass or anatomical variant such as nutcracker syndrome.

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