J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord 2018 03 29;6(2):271-278. Epub 2017 Dec 29.
Section of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. Electronic address:
Objective: Although nutcracker syndrome (NS) is rare, patients presenting with symptoms or signs and anatomic compression of the left renal vein (LRV) can be considered for intervention. Open, laparoscopic, and endovascular techniques have been developed to decrease the venous outflow obstruction of the LRV. The paucity of data regarding the management of this uncommon disease process poses a challenge for adequate recommendations of the best treatment modality. Herein, we aim to present a systematic review for the management of NS.
Methods: We used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement standards to systematically search the electronic databases of MEDLINE from October 1982 to July 2017 for articles about the management of NS. Included were studies in English, Spanish, and German in all age groups.
Results: The literature search provided 249 references. After abstract and full review screening for inclusion, 17 references were analyzed. Eight (47%) described the open surgical approach. The LRV transposition was the most commonly reported technique, followed by renal autotransplantation. Seven (41.11%) described the endovascular technique of stent implantation, and two (11.7%) described the minimally invasive laparoscopic extravascular stent implantation.
Conclusions: NS is a rare entity. Multiple techniques have been developed for the treatment of this condition. However, the rarity of this syndrome, the paucity of data, and the short-term follow-up of the existing evidence are the disadvantages that prevent recommendations for the best treatment strategy. Up to now, open surgical intervention, specifically LRV transposition, has been considered by some experts the mainstay for treatment of NS. The endovascular approach is gaining strength as more evidence has become available. However, the long-term patency and durability of this approach remain to be elucidated. Therefore, careful selection of patients is necessary in recommending this technique.