BACKGROUND: It is difficult to manage intractable pain from advanced carcinoma of the upper abdomen. One method used to control pain associated with these malignancies is to block the splanchnic nerve. We investigated that VAS (visual analogue scale) difference before and after splanchnic nerve block (SNB) and pain relief day. Also we studied relationship between VAS before SNB and pain relief day. METHODS: A rewiew of 70 patients who took splanchnic nerve block (SNB) from September 1994 to February 1998 was carried out to assess age, sex, primary diseases, pain sites, VAS before and after SNB, date of diagnosis, date of SNB, date of death and pain relief day, etc. RESULTS: Of 70 patients, 44 were males and the remaining 26 were females. The causes of pain were stomach cancer 28 (40%), pancreatic cancer 18 (25%), gall bladder cancer 7 (10%), hepatoma 6 (8.6%) respcectively. Average day from diagnosis to SNB was 272 and average day from diagnosis to death was 341. So, patients died on the average 69 days after they took the splanchnic nerve block in pain clinic. VAS average before SNB was 8.01 and VAS average after SNB was 3.64. Patients felt pain relief during 35 days after SNB. Pain relief day of patients who had lower VAS before SNB was longer than that of patients who had higher VAS before SNB. CONCLUSION: Early application of splanchnic nerve block will make the patients endure the cancer pain more easily.