Single-Center Review of Celiac Plexus/Retrocrural Splanchnic Nerve Block for Non-Cancer Related Pain

Harris Liou, Min J. Kong, Sadeer J. Alzubaidi, M. Grace Knuttinen, Indravadan J. Patel, J Scott Kriegshauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rationale and Objectives: Celiac plexus and retrocrural splanchnic nerve (CP/RSN) blocks are widely used for cancer-related abdominal pain, but there is limited literature on their efficacy for non-cancer related pain. Our aim was to determine the indications and effectiveness of CT-guided CP/RSN blocks performed on patients with abdominal pain from non-cancer related sources. Materials and Methods: CT-guided CP/RSN blocks for non-cancer related abdominal pain from 2011-2020 were retrospectively reviewed for patient demographics, procedure details, duration of pain relief, and complications. Effective blocks were defined as patient-reported pain relief or decrease in opioid use lasting 2 or more days for temporary blocks and 14 or more days for permanent blocks. Results: Of 72 CT-guided CP/RSN blocks for non-cancer related abdominal pain, 48 (67%) were effective for a mean of 51 days (median 14, range 2-700). Of the 18 permanent blocks, 9 (50%) were effective for a mean of 111 days (median 90, range 14-390). Of the 54 temporary blocks, 39 (72%) were effective for a mean of 37 days (median 9, range 2-700). Indications included postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome/dysautonomia (77% effective, 20/26), pancreatitis (86% effective, 12/14), postsurgical pain (62% effective, 8/13), median arcuate ligament syndrome (70% effective, 7/10), chronic pain syndrome (20% effective, 1/5), gastroparesis (80% effective, 4/5), and renal cystic disease (33% effective, 1/3). For postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome /dysautonomia, pancreatitis, post-surgical pain, and MALS, there were no statistically significant differences in effectiveness between celiac vs. splanchnic blocks in groups matched by indication and intended duration (temporary/permanent). Conclusions: CT-guided CP/RSN blocks can effectively manage non-cancer related abdominal pain, though there is discrepancy in efficacy between temporary and permanent blocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAcademic radiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • abdominal pain
  • benign pain
  • celiac plexus block
  • CT-guided
  • splanchnic nerve block

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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