In spite of its importance as an experimental model, information on the renal artery in pigs is scarce. The objective of this work was to determine the morphological characteristics of the renal artery (RA) and its branches in pigs. One hundred and twenty one (121) pairs of kidneys of pigs destined to slaughter by stunning were studied. The RA and its branches were perfused with polyester resin (Palatal 85 % t Styrene 15 %) and subjected to KOH infusion (potassium hydroxide) for total corrosion. Calibers were measured, and trajectories and relations with adjacent arterial structures were evaluated. Continuous variables were assessed with Student’s t test, and discrete variables with Pearson’s chi square test. The significance level used was p<0.05. The origin of the RA was symmetric in 57 specimens (50.4 %), with the right renal artery being more cranial in 55 % of the cases. Single renal arteries were seen in 98.4 %, without significant side differences (p=0.31). The caliber and length of the RA were 5.11 mm (SD 1.35) and 30.1 mm (SD 8.63), respectively. A pattern of RA expression that causes one cranial and one caudal polar branch (Type I) was observed in 97.1 % of the cases. The distribution of the RA in cranial and caudal polar branches was found to be higher than what is described in the literature, since these morphometric features have not been reported in prior studies. These findings contribute to a better knowledge in the field of the compared anatomy of the kidney, and allow for applying the pig model in procedural and hemodynamic applications.
KEY WORDS: Renal artery; Polar branches; Pig; Segmental branches.