Diagnosis of Renal Artery Aneurysm by Point-of-Care Ultrasound in the Emergency Department: A Case Report and Brief Review of the Literature



      Renal artery aneurysm (RAA) is defined as a focal dilatation of ≥50% of the adjacent, disease-free artery. Although typically asymptomatic, RAA can lead to hypertension, hematuria, and rupture. The risk of rupture is higher in pregnant patients and may result in the death of the mother and the fetus. We describe a case of RAA discovered on point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) in the emergency department.

      Case Report

      A 46-year-old woman with no medical history presented to the emergency department with lower abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased urination. POCUS was performed to evaluate the cause of the patient's symptoms. This study revealed a 2.40 cm × 3.65 cm aneurysm in the right kidney.

      Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?

      Rupture of RAA occurs in 3% to 5% of cases. Mortality to both the mother and the fetus is particularly high in gravid patients. RAA may be mistaken for other renal entities such as prominent renal veins or hydronephrosis. Properly identifying this pathology via POCUS can lead to early intervention. © 2022 Elsevier Inc.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of Emergency Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • González J
        • Esteban M
        • Andrés G
        • Linares E
        • Martínez-Salamanca JI.
        Renal artery aneurysms.
        Curr Urol Rep. 2014; 15: 376
        • Coleman DM
        • Stanley JC.
        Renal artery aneurysms.
        J Vasc Surg. 2015; 62: 779-785
        • Chaer RA
        • Abularrage CJ
        • Coleman DM
        • et al.
        The Society for Vascular Surgery clinical practice guidelines on the management of visceral aneurysms.
        J Vasc Surg. 2020; 72: 3-39
        • Augustin G
        • Kulis T
        • Kello N
        • Ivkovic V.
        Ruptured renal artery aneurysm in pregnancy and puerperium: literature review of 53 cases.
        Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2019; 299: 923-931
        • Klausner JQ
        • Lawrence PF
        • Harlander-Locke MP
        • Coleman DM
        • Stanley JC
        • Fujimura N.
        The contemporary management of renal artery aneurysms.
        J Vasc Surg. 2015; 61 (e1): 978-984
        • Brownstein AJ
        • Erben Y
        • Rajaee S
        • et al.
        Natural history and management of renal artery aneurysms in a single tertiary referral center.
        J Vasc Surg. 2018; 68: 137-144
        • Lumsden AB
        • Salam TA
        • Walton KG.
        Renal artery aneurysm: a report of 28 cases.
        Cardiovasc Surg. 1996; 4: 185-189
        • Wayne EJ
        • Edwards MS
        • Stafford JM
        • Hansen KJ
        • Corriere MA.
        Anatomic characteristics and natural history of renal artery aneurysms during longitudinal imaging surveillance.
        J Vasc Surg. 2014; 60: 448-453
        • Sivakumar V.
        Washing machine’ and ‘yin-yang’ sign in popliteal pseudoaneurysm.
        QJM. 2021; 114: 212