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ACC: Gastric Artery Embolization Viable in Humans

ACC: Gastric Artery Embolization Viable in Humans

First-in-man study shows weight loss and decrease in BMI up to six months post-procedure

FRIDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Left gastric artery embolization (GAE) seems safe and effective for weight loss in humans, according to a first-in-man study to be presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, held from March 9 to 11 in San Francisco.

Nicholas Kipshidze, M.D., Ph.D., from New York Cardiovascular Research in New York City, and colleagues examined the safety and efficacy of left GAE in five patients with different degrees of obesity. Participants underwent GAE with BeadBlock Embolic Bead 300 to 500 µm microspheres. Blood ghrelin levels were measured before the procedure and though six months of follow-up.

The researchers identified no periprocedural complications. Three patients complained about discomfort in the epigastrium during the first few hours post-procedure, but no impairments were revealed with esophagogastroscopy. During the first week after the procedure, all patients reported a decrease in appetite. At one month, weight loss was seen in all patients, with the average weight loss 29.2, 37, and 45.1 pounds at one, three, and six months, respectively. The average body mass index decreased from 42.3 kg/m² to 37.9 kg/m², 36.7 kg/m², and 35.3 kg/m² at one, three, and six months, respectively. Blood ghrelin levels also decreased significantly at corresponding time points by 29, 36, and 18 percent from baseline.

"Weight loss is a major problem," Kipshidze said in a statement. "There are medications, but they have side effects. Bariatric surgery is well established, but it's a major surgery. This procedure may develop into a new, simple method for the treatment of obesity."

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