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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2006 Apr 1;150(13):723-8.

[Coeliac plexus block in patients with pancreatic tumour pain].

[Article in Dutch]

Author information

  • 1Academisch Medisch Centrum/Universiteit van Amsterdam, Pijncentrum, afd. Anesthesiologie, Postbus 22.700, 1000 DE Amsterdam.


Pancreatic cancer tends to be diagnosed at a relatively late stage of the disease when curative resection is precluded. In view of the poor prognosis and the severe pain, palliative care should be aimed at providing adequate pain relief and optimal quality of life. Pancreatic cancer pain is primarily treated by the combination of NSAIDs, adjuvant analgesic drugs, and oral or transdermal opioids. The neurolytic coeliac plexus block is recommended as adjuvant therapy for the palliative treatment of pancreatic cancer pain. In addition quality of life, especially functional and physical aspects, is significantly improved in patients following a coeliac plexus block. The most common approach to the coeliac plexus is the percutaneous posterior technique. Serious complications that may follow application of this technique include sensory disorders, muscle weakness and paraparesis. More recently, new techniques such as thoracoscopic splanchnicectomy and endoscopic ultrasound-guided coeliac plexus block have emerged as efficient alternatives in terms of pain relief and quality-of-life improvement. The neurolytic coeliac plexus block has become a well-developed method of pain relief in patients with pain resulting from malignancies of the pancreas. To define the role of these new techniques in the palliative treatment of pancreatic cancer pain, comparative studies regarding efficacy, side effects, and complications have to be performed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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