Embolization of the left gastric artery was associated with significant weight loss compared with that seen in patients who underwent a control procedure, researchers found.
Compared with those who underwent embolization of a different artery, patients who underwent embolization of the left gastric artery lost a mean 7.9% of their body weight 3 months after the procedure versus a mean 1.2% for other procedures (P=0.001), according to Rahmi Oklu, MD, PhD, of Harvard Medical School, and colleagues.
These findings may represent a potential target for weight adjustment through left gastric artery embolization, Oklu wrote for a presentation to be made at the Radiological Society of North America meeting.
Surgical procedures have been shown to outperform nonsurgical procedures in helping patients shed pounds and send diabetes into remission.
The authors conducted a small retrospective analysis of electronic medical records among 15 patients who underwent left gastric artery embolization for upper gastrointestinal bleeding. They compared weight loss after the procedure to weight loss among 18 age-matched patients who underwent embolization of another artery.
Participants had weight recorded within 2 weeks of the embolization and within 3 months following the procedure.
Those who underwent left arterial embolization had a mean age of 66.1, while those who underwent embolization of a different artery had a mean age of 63.5.
Mean weight from pre- to post-procedure was 189.1 lbs. to 174.5 lbs. among those in the experimental group, versus 164.7 lbs. to 162.8 lbs. in the control group.
The authors wrote that the left gastric artery “preferentially supplies the gastric fundus,” which produces serum levels of ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating peptide. Ghrelin may be suppressed through embolization and result in lost weight, they suggested.
“Embolizing the left gastric artery may be a potential bariatric treatment for weight loss and an alternative to other invasive procedures,” Oklu wrote in a statement accompanying his research, adding that “this is an important data point in the development of a new clinical tool for the treatment of obesity.”
The authors cautioned that their research would need to be repeated in a larger sample size and evaluated in a prospective trial.
Primary source: Radiological Society of North America
Source reference: Oklu R, et al “A catheter to curb your appetite? A novel observation of weight loss following left gastric artery embolization in humans” RSNA 2013; Abstract SSA23-01.