Indexed on: 11 Jun '03Published on: 11 Jun '03Published in: The Journal of Urology®
We prospectively assessed the accuracy of 3-dimensional (3-D) volume rendered computerized tomography (CT) and conventional renal arteriography to visualize renovascular anatomy in patients undergoing laparoscopic donor nephrectomy.A total of 60 consecutive patients undergoing laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (left side in 46 and right side in 14) prospectively underwent 3-D CT and renal angiography. A short videotape of 3-D CT was prepared using volume rendering software that demonstrated the anatomical location, number, anomalies and spatial interrelationships of the renal arteries and veins. These 3-D videotapes and arteriogram findings were directly correlated with intraoperative surgical findings at laparoscopy and during ex vivo bench preparation of the harvested kidney. The perceived intraoperative value of 3D-CT to delineate renovascular anatomical detail was scored subjectively by the laparoscopic surgeon for each case on a 10-point scale of 0--completely inaccurate to 10--completely accurate.There were no complications related to the 3-D CT protocol and volume rendering was successful in all patients. Three-D CT accurately identified the number of renal arteries in 59 patients (98%). In 1 patient with 3 renal arteries 3-D CT and arteriogram each identified only 2. In the 46 patients undergoing left donor nephrectomy 3-D CT accurately identified the number of veins and venous anomalies in 45 (98%), including 2 with a circumaortic left renal vein. Another case of circumaortic vein was misdiagnosed as 2 renal veins. On the right side in 14 patients 3-D CT accurately identified the renal veins in 13 (94%) and missed 1 vein in a patient with 2 renal veins. Angiography correctly identified the number of renal veins in only 52 cases (87%). Furthermore, it misdiagnosed all 3 cases of circumaortic left renal vein. The laparoscopic surgeon believed that 3-D CT accurately identified the location and anatomical interrelationship of the renal vessels with precision. Mean subjective score +/- SEM was 8.5 +/- 1 for the arterial system, 8.6 +/- 1.1 for the venous system and 9.2 +/- 0.5 for any vascular anomalies.Three-D CT accurately identifies renal vascular anatomy in a manner that may facilitate renal hilar dissection during laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, especially during the initial surgeon experience. This imaging modality integrates essential information from angiography, venography and excretory urography into a single study, and it can obviate the need for more invasive vascular imaging in most cases.