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Bariatric embolisation

Bariatric embolisation suppresses ghrelin hormone

Researchers call for additional studies
Dr Aravind Arepally

Bariatric embolisation can significantly suppress ghrelin and significantly affect weight gain, according to a study published in the journal Radiology.

The study authors from Duke University said that despite the benefits demonstrated in this porcine study, additional studies are warranted before this technique can be used on humans.

The researchers, led by  Dr. Ben Paxton (Duke Healthcare), Dr. Charles Kim (Duke Healthcare) and Dr Aravind Arepally (Piedmont Healthcare, Atlanta), assessed whether bariatric embolization, with commercially available calibrated microspheres, can result in substantial suppression of systemic ghrelin levels and affect weight gain over an eight-week period.

Twelve healthy growing swine (mean weight, 38.4kg; weight range, 30.3–47.0kg) were evaluated. Bariatric embolisation was performed by infusing 40-μm calibrated microspheres selectively into the gastric arteries that supply the fundus.

Six swine underwent bariatric embolisation and six control animals underwent a sham procedure with saline. Weight and fasting plasma ghrelin and glucose levels were obtained in animals at baseline and every week up to eight weeks following the procedure.

The researchers looked for differences in serum ghrelin levels and weight at each time point, using the Wilcoxon signed rank test for intragroup differences and the Wilcoxon rank sum test for intergroup differences.

The results revealed a significantly different change in ghrelin levels over time between control and experimental animals. Average post-procedure ghrelin values increased by 328.9pg/dL ± 129.0 (standard deviation) in control animals and decreased by 537.9pg/dL ± 209.6 in experimental animals (p=0.004).

The changes in weight over time was also significantly different between control and experimental animals. The average post-procedure weight gain in experimental animals was significantly lower than that in control animals (3.6kg ± 3.8 vs. 9.4kg ± 2.8, respectively; p=0.025).

The authors concluded that the results confirmed their hypothesis that that bariatric embolisation can suppress ghrelin and affect weight gain.

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