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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 23

of 'Overview of cancer pain syndromes'

[Percutaneous echography-guided alcohol block of the celiac plexus as treatment of painful syndromes of the upper abdomen: study of 21 cases].
Schönenberg P, Bastid C, Guedes J, Sahel J
Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1991;121(15):528.
Celiac plexus block is usually performed under fluoroscopic or tomodensitometric guidance. We report on a new procedure using sonographic guidance. the patient lies in supine position. We use a real-time sonograph with a 3.5 MHz probe. On a transverse plane, the celiac axis is localized emerging from the aorta. Under local anesthesia, the tip of the spinal needle (177 mm, 22 g) is placed close to the aorta (about 5 mm) on both sides. 5 to 10 ml of 1% lidocaine, then 10 to 20 ml of absolute alcohol, are injected on each side. 21 patients (10 males, 11 females, mean age: 61.4) underwent the procedure. They presented with cancer of the pancreas in 14 cases, metastatic nodes from an extra-pancreatic tumor in 5 cases and chronic calcifying pancreatitis (CCP) in 2 cases. No pain relief was secured in 3 patients (14%). One of these presented with CCP, but endoscopic cystic diversion of a small cyst was successful in eradicating pain. Partial pain relief was secured in 5 cases (24%) and total pain relief in 13 cases (62%). No treatment-related complication was observed. We conclude that sonography is a simple and safe method of guidance in performing alcohol block of the celiac plexus. The anterior approach may prevent neurologic complications occurring with other methods of guidance using a posterior approach.
Division d'hépato-gastroentérologie, Hôpital cantonal universitaire, Genève.