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Sunday, August 17, 2014

New endovascular therapy shows the ability to reduce gastric production of “hunger hormone”

Collaborative researchers from Johns Hopkins and Duke University Medical Centers performed a new therapy known as “bariatric embolization” on 6 swine in a recent study published in the January edition of JVIR. The authors cited the growing obesity epidemic in the United States and relatively high morbidity associated with bariatric weight loss surgery as the stimulus for their investigation.

Their study found a 30% reduction in the ghrelin-immunoreactive cell density in the gastric fundus of pigs that underwent bariatric embolization via the gastric artery with 4-6 mL of diluted 40-µm calibrated microspheres compared to 6 control swine treated with normal saline. A trend toward increased stomach fibrosis (P = .07) was also found in the treated swine, as well as stomach ulcers in half the treatment subset.

This study sheds light upon the impact of bariatric embolization on stomach hormone production and supports the scientific basis for bariatric embolization as a minimally invasive weight loss therapy. The authors are currently planning to begin the first US clinical trial of bariatric embolization on humans this summer at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Click here to see the full abstract

Immunohistochemical staining of the gastric fundi (×100) and duodena confirms a significant reduction in the ghrelin-immunoreactive cell density in the gastric fundus after embolization. There is no compensatory upregulation of ghrelin-expressing cells in the duodena of treated animals.

Citation:  Paxton, B. E. et al. Histopathologic and Immunohistochemical Sequelae of Bariatric Embolization in a Porcine Model. Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology 25, 455–461 (2014).

Post author: Austin Bourgeois, MD


  1. This is exciting work! How soon until we see human data?

  2. Clinical trials have begun! The BEAT Obesity (Bariatric Embolization of the Arteries for Treatment of Obesity) clinical trial has received FDA IDE clearance. More information can be obtained at : http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT02165124

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