Renal artery injury during lateral transpsoas interbody fusion: case report.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Lateral interbody fusion (LIF) via the retroperitoneal transpsoas approach is an increasingly popular, minimally invasive technique for interbody fusion in the thoracolumbar spine that avoids many of the complications of traditional anterior and transforaminal approaches. Renal vascular injury has been cited as a potential risk in LIF, but little has been documented in the literature regarding the etiology of this injury. The authors discuss a case of an intraoperative complication of renal artery injury during LIF. A 42-year-old woman underwent staged T12-L5 LIF in the left lateral decubitus position, and L5-S1 anterior lumbar interbody fusion, followed 3 days later by T12-S1 posterior instrumentation for idiopathic scoliosis with radiculopathy refractory to conservative management. After placement of the T12-L1 cage, the retractor was released and significant bleeding was encountered during its removal. Immediate consultation with the vascular team was obtained, and hemostasis was achieved with vascular clips. The patient was stabilized, and the remainder of the procedure was performed without complication. On postoperative CT imaging, the patient was found to have a supernumerary left renal artery with complete occlusion of the superior left renal artery, causing infarction of approximately 75% of the kidney. There was no increase in creatinine level immediately postoperatively or at the 3-month follow-up. Renal visceral and vascular injuries are known risks with LIF, with potentially devastating consequences. The retroperitoneal transpsoas approach for LIF in the superior lumbar spine requires a thorough knowledge of renal visceral and vascular anatomy. Supernumerary renal arteries occur in 25%-40% of the population and occur most frequently on the left and superior to the usual renal artery trunk. These arteries can vary in number, position, and course from the aorta and position relative to the usual renal artery trunk. Understanding of renal anatomy and the potential variability of the renal vasculature is essential to prevent iatrogenic injury.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Blizzard, DJ; Gallizzi, MA; Isaacs, RE; Brown, CR

Published Date

  • October 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 464 - 466

PubMed ID

  • 27203808

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1547-5646

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3171/2016.2.SPINE15785


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States