Pain occurs frequently in patients with advanced cancers. Tumors originating from upper abdominal viscera such as pancreas, stomach, duodenum, proximal small bowel, liver and biliary tract and from compressing enlarged lymph nodes can cause severe abdominal pain, which do not respond satisfactorily to medical treatment or radiotherapy. Percutaneous celiac ganglia block (CGB) can be performed with high success and low complication rates under imaging guidance to obtain pain relief in patients with upper abdominal malignancies. A significant relationship between pain relief and degree of tumoral celiac ganglia invasion according to CT features was described in the literature. Performing the procedure in the early grades of celiac ganglia invasion on CT can increase the effectiveness of the CGB, which is contrary to World Health Organization criteria stating that CGB must be performed in patients with advanced stage cancer. CGB may also be effectively performed in patients with chronic pancreatitis for pain palliation. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.