Clinical Research Article

Korean J Pain 2021; 34(4): 479-486

Published online October 1, 2021 https://doi.org/10.3344/kjp.2021.34.4.479

Copyright © The Korean Pain Society.

Factors associated with successful response to neurolytic celiac plexus block in patients with upper abdominal cancer-related pain: a retrospective study

Hyun-Jung Kwon , Kyunghwan Jang , Jeong-Gil Leem , Jin-Woo Shin , Doo-Hwan Kim , Seong-Soo Choi

Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence to:Seong-Soo Choi
Department ofAnesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88, Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul 05505, Korea
Tel: +82-2-3010-1538
Fax: +82-2-3010-6790
E-mail: choiss@amc.seoul.kr

This work was presented in part as H-J Kwon’s MS thesis at the University of Ulsan College of Medicine (2021).

Handling Editor: Chee Kean Chen

Received: April 19, 2021; Revised: July 5, 2021; Accepted: July 13, 2021

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: Prior studies have reported that 40%-90% of the patients with celiac plexus-mediated visceral pain benefit from the neurolytic celiac plexus block (NCPB), but the predictive factors of response to NCPB have not been evaluated extensively. This study aimed to identify the factors associated with the immediate analgesic effectiveness of NCPB in patients with intractable upper abdominal cancer-related pain.
Methods: A retrospective review was performed of 513 patients who underwent NCPB for upper abdominal cancer-related pain. Response to the procedure was defined as (1) a decrease of ≥ 50% or ≥ 4 points on the numerical rating scale (NRS) in pain intensity from the baseline without an increase in opioid requirement, or (2) a decrease of ≥ 30% or ≥ 2 points on the NRS from the baseline with simultaneously reduced opioid consumption after NCPB. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the factors associated with successful responses to NCPB.
Results: Among the 513 patients included in the analysis, 255 (49.8%) and 258 (50.2%) patients were in the non-responder and responder group after NCPB, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that diabetes (odds ratio [OR] = 0.644, P = 0.035), history of upper abdominal surgery (OR = 0.691, P = 0.040), and celiac metastasis (OR = 1.496, P = 0.039) were the independent factors associated with response to NCPB.
Conclusions: Celiac plexus metastases, absence of diabetes, and absence of prior upper abdominal surgery may be independently associated with better response to NCPB for upper abdominal cancer-related pain.

Keywords: Abdominal Pain, Analgesics, Cancer Pain, Celiac Plexus, Denervation, Logistic Models, Neoplasms, Nerve Block, Visceral Pain.