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Gastrointest Endosc. 1996 Dec;44(6):656-62.

Endosonography-guided celiac plexus neurolysis.

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Department of Medicine, St. Vincent Hospitals, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.



We have evaluated the safety and efficacy of performing endosonography-guided celiac plexus neurolysis (EUS CPN) in patients with pain due to intra-abdominal malignancies.


Thirty patients with upper abdominal pain requiring narcotic analgesia and suspected or known intra-abdominal malignancy were selected for EUS CPN. This group included 25 patients with pancreas carcinoma and 5 patients with intra-abdominal metastases. Using the linear array ultrasound endoscope and a prototype needle catheter, transgastric injection of the celiac plexus with bupivacaine and 98% dehydrated absolute alcohol was accomplished.


Pain scores were significantly lower compared with baseline at 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after EUS CPN (median follow-up: 10 weeks). At these follow-up intervals, 82% to 91% of patients required the same or less pain medication and 79% to 88% of patients had persistent improvement in their pain score. Comparison of patients with TXNXM1 versus TXNXMO pancreatic carcinoma revealed higher initial pain scores (7.9 +/- 1.92 versus 5.8 +/- 2.0, p = .02) and a greater decline in pain scores (decrease of 6.1 +/- 3.1 versus 4.8 +/- 2.0, p = .004). Complications were minor and consisted of transient diarrhea in four patients.


EUS CPN is a safe and effective means for improving pain control in patients with intra-abdominal malignancy. The technique may be performed as an outpatient at the same setting as the EUS staging examination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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