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Transient Paraplegia Following Alcohol Celiac Plexus Block
  1. Gilbert Y. Wong, M.D. and
  2. David L. Brown, M.D.
  1. Pain Division, Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota
  1. Reprint requests: David L. Brown, M.D., Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic, 200 West First Street, Rochester, MN 55905.


Background and Objectives. A pancreatic cancer patient developing transient paraplegia compatible with spinal cord ischemia, following alcohol celiac plexus neurolysis, is described.

Methods. A 58-year-old man with metastatic pancreatic cancer underwent celiac (deep splanchnic) alcohol neurolysis for management of severe epigastric and midback pain. In spite of apparently adequate needle position, he developed transient paraplegia consistent with anterior spinal artery syndrome.

Results. The clinical findings suggest ischemia of the anterior spinal cord with complete motor and sensory paralysis to a T8 spinal cord level resulting from an anterior spinal artery syndrome.

Conclusions. The cause of the limited bilateral transient paralysis following celiac plexus block in this patient may involve ischemia of the spinal cord associated with reversible arterial spasm following the injection of ethanol solution.

  • celiac block
  • ethanol
  • complication
  • splanchnic block
  • ethanol
  • complication
  • paraplegia

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