Retrocaval ureter: a meta-analysis of prevalence

  • Sorin HostiucEmail author
  • Mugurel Constantin Rusu
  • Ionut Negoi
  • Mihai Grigoriu
  • Mihaela Hostiuc
Original Article



Retrocaval ureter is a congenital abnormality of the right ureter, which has been shown, in rare cases to cause clinical symptoms, mainly due to the development of ureterohydronephrosis.


The purpose of this article is to identify the prevalence of the retrocaval ureter, and to emphasize its clinical and surgical importance.


A meta-analysis of prevalence, on cases obtained from PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus databases.


A total number of 13 studies contained data that allowed us to estimate the prevalence of the retrocaval ureter, which was identified overall in 9 cases, out of 18,493 subjects. The overall prevalence of retrocaval ureter was 0.13%, with a 95% confidence interval between 0.06 and 0.27%. There was no publication bias, all studies being under the funnel.


The overall prevalence of retrocaval ureter is 0.13%. Even if this is obviously a rare condition, its presence must be suspected by practitioners, especially in the presence of urological symptoms without a clear cause.


Retrocaval ureter Circumcaval ureter Preureteral vena cava Prevalence Congenital abnormality of the vena cava 


Author contributions

All authors participated equally in the design of the study, drafting the manuscript, and researching relevant information, and agreeing with the final version. The statistical analysis was conducted by SH and IN.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Dental Medicine, Department of Legal Medicine and BioethicsCarol Davila University of Medicine and PharmacyBucharestRomania
  2. 2.Faculty of Dental Medicine, Department of AnatomyCarol Davila University of Medicine and PharmacyBucharestRomania
  3. 3.Faculty of Medicine, Department of SurgeryCarol Davila University of Medicine and PharmacyBucharestRomania
  4. 4.Faculty of Medicine, Department of SurgeryUniversity Emergency Hospital Bucharest, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and PharmacyBucharestRomania
  5. 5.Faculty of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and GastroenterologyCarol Davila University of Medicine and PharmacyBucharestRomania

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