Article Title

A retrospective case series of patients who have undergone coeliac plexus blocks for the purpose of alleviating pain due to intra-abdominal malignancy

Abstract

Background: Coeliac plexus block (CPB) is an interventional pain management option for patients with pancreatic or other upper abdominal malignancy.

Aims: To assess the safety, utilization, and outcomes of CPBs in the local context.

Methods and Results: We conducted a retrospective case series of all patients with cancer who underwent CPB at 4 Sydney teaching hospitals from March 2010 to February 2016. We recorded baseline demographic data, details of the injectate, procedural approach and survival, as well as pain scores and analgesic use at 4 time points of interest. Thirty‐nine procedures were performed during the study period. Twenty‐four were performed endoscopically, 14 were performed via a bilateral percutaneous posterior approach by Pain Specialists or Radiologists and 1 was performed intraoperatively by a Surgeon. Patients had experienced pain for a mean of 17 weeks prior to CPB. Prior to CPB, the mean pain score was 8.8 out of 10. The mean pain score was reduced at 48 hours, 2 weeks, and 4 weeks following CPB (P < .01). The mean oral morphine equivalent daily dose prior to CPB was 362 mg which was reduced at 48 hours and 2 weeks but increased at the 4 weeks following CPB. One patient developed a bacteremia but otherwise no complications were observed.

Conclusion: CPB is performed by a number of approaches and is well tolerated. The approach selected appears to depend on patient anatomy, preference, and availability of local expertise. Local clinicians could consider CPB earlier in the management of malignant epigastric pain.

Keywords

celiac plexus, coeliac plexus, pain management, palliative care, pancreatic neoplasms

Link to Publisher Version (URL)

https://doi.org/10.1002/cnr2.1265

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