2. Location in the Body

Both renal arteries connect to the abdominal aorta at the L1 and L2 vertebral body level, below the superior mesenteric artery connection to the abdominal aorta. The right renal artery starts in the front and to the side of the aorta, then runs a lower course behind the inferior vena cava to the right kidney. The left renal artery starts at a slightly higher point of the aorta but has a more lateral position. Its course is much shorter than that of the right renal artery and runs in a near-horizontal position to the left kidney.

aorta renal artery Steve Debenport / Getty Images

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