PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of CT-guided celiac plexus block (CPB) using an anterior approach, and to determine the role of CT in this procedure. MATERIALS AND METHODS: CPB was attempted in 15 patients (10 men and 5 women; mean age, 62.3 years) with intractable upper abdominal pain due to terminal malignancy of the pancreas, liver, bowel, and kidney. To permit an anterior approach, patients lied supine on the CT scan table during the procedure. One or two 21-guage needles were placed just anterior to the diaphragmatic crus at or between the levels of the celiac and superior mesenteric arteries and 10-40 ml of 99.9% alcohol was injected. Pain relief following the procedure was assessed and pain was graded on a visual analogue scale (VAS) from 0 to 10. RESULTS: There were no technical failures and no neurologic or hemorrhagic complications. Abdominal pain during alcohol injection occurred in all patients, and transient hypotension in three. One patient with recurrent cancer of the pancreatic head died of sepsis five days after the procedure; the cause of sepsis was difficult to determine, but there was thought to be a biliary source of infection. Two days after block, 13 of 15 procedures (86.7%) had produced at least partial pain relief ; in 12 patients, relief was good. With CT guidance, more directed positioning of the needle is possible, allowing alcohol to be deposited in specific ganglion areas. CONCLUSION: CT-guided celiac plexus block using an anterior approach was an easy and effective way of reducing intractable upper abdominal pain due to terminal malignancies. CT guidance allowed precise needle placement and a safer procedure.