Thermoablation of Liver Metastases: Efficacy of Temporary Celiac Plexus Block
To determine the efficacy of celiac plexus block during thermoablation of liver metastases.
Fifty-five consecutive patients underwent thermoablation therapy of liver tumors by laser-induced thermotherapy. Twenty-nine patients received a temporary celiac plexus block, 26 patients acted as control group. In both groups fentanyl and midazolam were administered intravenously upon request of the patient. The duration of the intervention, consumption of opiates, and individual pain sensations were documented.
No complications resulting from the celiac plexus block were recorded. Celiac plexus block significantly reduced the amount of pain medication used during thermoablation therapy of liver tumors (with block, 2.45 μg fentanyl per kg body weight; without block, 3.58 μg fentanyl per kg body weight, p < 0.05; midazolam consumption was not reduced) in patients with metastases ≤5 mm from the liver capsule. For metastases farther away from the capsule no significant differences in opiate consumption were seen. Celiac plexus block reduced the time for thermoablation significantly (178 min versus 147 min, p < 0.05) no matter how far the metastases were from the liver capsule. Average time needed to set the block was 12 min (range 9–15 min); additional costs for the block were marginal. As expected (as pain medications were given according to individual patients’ needs) pain indices did not differ significantly between the two groups.
In patients with liver metastases ≤5 mm from the liver capsule, celiac plexus block reduces the amount of opiates necessary, simplifying patient monitoring. In addition celiac plexus block reduces intervention time, with positive effects on overall workflow for all patients.
KeywordsCeliac plexus block Liver Metastases Thermoablation