Efficacy of coeliac plexus and splanchnic nerve blockades in body and tail located pancreatic cancer pain

Eur J Pain. 2004 Dec;8(6):539-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpain.2004.01.001.


Palliative treatment, pain therapy and quality of life (QOL) are very important in pancreatic cancer patients. We evaluated the pain relieving efficacy, side effects and effects on QOL of neurolytic coeliac plexus blockade (NCPB) and splanchnic nerves neurolytic blockade (SNB) in body and tail located pancreatic cancer. The study protocol was approved by the local ethics committee. Patients were randomly divided into two groups. Coeliac group; GC, N = 19 were treated with coeliac plexus blockade, whereas the patients in splanchnic group; GS, N = 20 were treated with bilateral splanchnic nerve blockade. The VAS values, opioid consumption and QOL (Patient satisfaction scale=PSS, performance status scale=PS) were evaluated prior to the procedure and at 2 weeks intervals after the procedure with the survival rates. The demographic features were found to be similar. The VAS differences (difference of every control's value with baseline value) in GS were significantly higher than the VAS differences in GC on every control meaning that VAS values in GS decreased more than the VAS values in GC. GS patients were found to decrease the opioid consumption significantly more than GC till the 6th control. GS patients had significant improvement in PS values at the first control. The mean survival rate was found to be significantly lower in GC. Two patients had severe pain during injection in GC and 5 patients had intractable diarrhoea in GC. Comparing the ease, pain relieving efficacy, QOL-effects of the methods, splanchnic nerve blocks may be an alternative to coeliac plexus blockade in patients with advanced body and tail located pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Celiac Plexus*
  • Codeine / administration & dosage
  • Codeine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lidocaine
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Block*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Intractable / etiology*
  • Pain, Intractable / psychology
  • Pain, Intractable / therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / complications*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Splanchnic Nerves*
  • Survival Analysis


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Lidocaine
  • Codeine