OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of sonographically guided percutaneous neurolysis of the celiac plexus in patients with abdominal tumors or chronic pancreatitis in whom systemic analgesics were ineffective. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Neurolysis of the celiac plexus was performed in 38 patients, 34 with neoplastic disease and four with chronic pancreatitis. Under sonographic guidance, a 22-gauge needle was advanced by the anterior route to the area above the celiac plexus, and 30- 40 ml of 50% alcohol was injected. Pain relief was assessed 1 week, 6 months, and 1 year after the procedure. Patients subjectively rated the pain after treatment as totally relieved, partially relieved, or unchanged. RESULTS. At 1 week and at 6 months after treatment, pain was totally relieved in 61% of patients, partially relieved in 31%, and unchanged in 8%. After 1 year, pain was totally relieved in 39%, partially relieved in 52%, and unchanged in 9%. The complications observed were five cases of mild diarrhea and one case of retroperitoneal pain, which subsided with conservative treatment. CONCLUSION. The anterior, sonographically guided approach appears to be as successful as other percutaneous techniques for neurolysis of the celiac plexus.