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Intravenous phentolamine infusion alleviates the pain of abdominal visceral cancer, including pancreatic carcinoma.

Author(s): Yasukawa M, Yasukawa K, Kamiizumi Y, Yokoyama R

Affiliation(s): Department of Anesthesiology, Iwamizawa Municipal General Hospital, 9-Jo Nishi-7 Iwamizawa, Hokkaido 068-8555, Japan.

Publication date & source: 2007, J Anesth., 21(3):420-3. Epub 2007 Aug 1.

Publication type: Case Reports

This case report series describes eight patients (four patients with pancreatic carcinoma, one patient with hepatocellular carcinoma, one patient with gastric and rectal carcinoma, one with sigmoid colon cancer, and one with rectal cancer), whose abdominal cancer pain was treated with intravenous phentolamine infusion at 80 mg x day(-1) for 2 days. All but one of the patients had already been treated with opioids. All eight patients complained of severe abdominal pain; in five patients the pain radiated to the back, and there was associated anal pain in two patients. Analgesia was achieved in three patients; pain alleviation was obtained in four patients, but was not sustained in two of these four patients; and the treatment in one patient could not be judged for efficacy because epidural morphine was used together with the phentolamine. Adverse effects of phentolamine were tachycardia and/or hypotension.

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