Catheter-directed Gastric Artery Chemical Embolization Suppresses Systemic Ghrelin Levels in Porcine Model

Purpose: To prospectively test, in a porcine model, the hypothesis that catheter-directed gastric artery chemical embolization (GACE) can result in suppression of systemic ghrelin levels and affect weight gain.

Materials and Methods: This study, which had Animal Care and Use Committee approval, was performed in healthy, growing swine (weight range, 40–45 kg; n = 10). GACE was performed in five swine with the infusion of sodium morrhuate (125 μg) selectively into the gastric arteries that supply the fundus. Five control animals underwent a sham procedure with 5 mL of saline. Weight and fasting plasma ghrelin levels were obtained in animals at baseline and in weeks 1–4. Statistical testing for substantial differences in ghrelin blood levels over time and between treated and untreated animals was performed by using a cross-sectional time-series linear model with feasibility generalized least squares.

Results: The pattern of the change in ghrelin levels over time was significantly different between control and treated animals (P < .004). In treated animals, ghrelin levels were significantly reduced at week 1 (mean, 664.1 pg/mL ± 103.1 [standard error of the mean], P < .02), week 2 (mean, 618.1 pg/mL ± 180.4, P < .001), week 3 (mean, 578.4 pg/mL ± 214.9, P < .001), and week 4 (mean, 876.6 pg/mL ± 228.6, P < .03) relative to baseline (mean, 1006.3 pg/mL ± 190.1). The percentage change in serum ghrelin values in swine treated with GACE decreased from baseline to −34%, −38.6%, −42.5%, and −12.9% during weeks 1–4, respectively. In control swine, percentage change in serum ghrelin was −1.7%, −9.7%, +2.6%, and +18.2% during weeks 1–4, respectively. At the end of 4 weeks, control swine continued to gain weight, with a 15.1% increase from their original weight, while the weight in swine treated with GACE plateaued at an increase of 7.8% from the original weight.

Conclusion: Catheter-directed GACE can suppress the appetite hormone ghrelin and affect weight gain.

Supplemental material: http://radiology.rsnajnls.org/cgi/content/full/249/1/127/DC1

© RSNA, 2008

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Article History

Published in print: 2008