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Pain Research and Management
Volume 18, Issue 5, Pages 249-252
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/196561
Original Article

Chemical Neurolysis of the Inferior Hypogastric Plexus for the Treatment of Cancer-Related Pelvic and Perineal Pain

Sahar Abd-Elbaky Mohamed, Doaa Gomaa Ahmed, and Mohamad Farouk Mohamad

South Egypt Cancer Institute, Anesthesia, Intensive care and Pain Management, South Egypt Cancer Institute, Assiut, Egypt

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Various interventions, including the superior hypogastric plexus block and ganglion impar block, are commonly used for the treatment of pelvic or perineal pain caused by cancer. The inferior hypogastric plexus block (performed using a trans-sacral approach under fluoroscopy and using a local anesthetics/steroid combination) for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain conditions involving the lower pelvic viscera was first described in 2007. Neurolysis of the inferior hypogastric plexus may be useful for the treatment of pelvic and perineal pain caused by cancer.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the feasibility, safety and efficacy of the newly introduced inferior hypogastric plexus block, performed using a trans-sacral approach, for the relief of cancer-related pelvic and perineal pain.

METHODS: A total of 20 patients with cancer pain in the pelvis and/or perineum were injected with 6 mL to 8 mL of 10% phenol bilaterally by passing a spinal needle through the sacral foramen to perform the inferior hypogastric block. Pain intensity (measured using a visual analogue scale), sleep score, activity score, psychological score and oral morphine consumption pre- and postprocedure were measured.

RESULTS: Two of the 20 patients died during the follow-up period and were, therefore, excluded from the study. All patients presented with cancer-related pelvic, perineal or pelviperineal pain. Pain scores were reduced from a mean (± SD) of 7.22±1.31 preprocedurally to 4.06±1.73 one week postprocedurally (P<0.05). In addition, the mean consumption of morphine (delivered via 30 mg sustained-release morphine tablets) was reduced from 106.67±32.90 mg to 61.67±40.48 mg after one week (P<0.05). No complications or serious side effects were encountered during or after the block.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The approach provides a good alternative technique for the treatment of low pelvic and perineal cancer-related pain. Additional studies are required for evaluation and refinement of the technique using other radiological techniques.