Coeliac plexus block for pain in pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis

Joseph Leung, M. Bowen Wright, W. Aveling, P. J. Shorvon, P. B. Cotton

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135 Scopus citations


We have performed coeliac plexus block by standard percutaneous technique for disabling pain in 36 patients (13 with cancer and 23 with chronic pancreatitis). Eleven of the 13 cancer patients had complete pain relief initially and 7 remained pain free at the time of death. By contrast, only 12 of the 23 patients with pancreatitis had complete pain relief, 6 had partial relief and there was no effect in 5. The mean pain-free period in the chronic pancreatitis patients was only 2 months, and the longest 4 months. Benefit was least in patients with previous pancreatic surgery and repeat blocks were unhelpful. Transient postural hypotension occurred in most patients; two had nerve root pain and one developed persistent weakness and anaesthesia of the left leg, with bladder disturbance. These results warrant the continuing use of coeliac plexus block in pancreatic cancer, but rarely in chronic pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-732
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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