Degree of left renal vein compression predicts nutcracker syndrome

Patrick T. Hangge, Nikhil Gupta, Aditya Khurana, Keith B. Quencer, Hassan Albadawi, Sadeer J. Alzubaidi, M. Grace Knuttinen, Sailendra G. Naidu, Rahmi Oklu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nutcracker syndrome (NS) refers to symptomatic compression of the left renal vein (LRV) between the abdominal aorta and superior mesenteric artery with potential symptoms including hematuria, proteinuria, left flank pain, and renal venous hypertension. No consensus diagnostic criteria exist to guide endovascular treatment. We aimed to evaluate the specificity of LRV compression to NS symptoms through a retrospective study including 33 NS and 103 control patients. The size of the patent lumen at point of compression and normal portions of the LRV were measured for all patients. Multiple logistic regression analyses (MLR) assessing impact of compression, body mass index (BMI), age, and gender on the likelihood of each symptom with NS were obtained. NS patients presented most commonly with abdominal pain (72.7%), followed by hematuria (57.6%), proteinuria (39.4%), and left flank pain (30.3%). These symptoms were more commonly seen than in the control group at 10.6, 11.7, 6.8, and 1.9%, respectively. The degree of LRV compression for NS was 74.5% and 25.2% for controls (p < 0.0001). Higher compression led to more hematuria (p < 0.0013), abdominal pain (p < 0.006), and more proteinuria (p < 0.002). Furthermore, the average BMI of NS patients was 21.4 and 27.2 for controls (p < 0.001) and a low BMI led to more abdominal pain (p < 0.005). These results demonstrate a strong correlation between the degree of LRV compression on imaging in diagnosing NS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018


  • Compression
  • Left renal vein
  • Nutcracker syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Degree of left renal vein compression predicts nutcracker syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this