FAIRFAX, Va., April 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A safe, new, minimally invasive treatment, developed by interventional radiologists, led to sustained weight loss in severely obese people, according to research presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting. Researchers said the treatment—bariatric arterial embolization (BAE)—could offer individuals a viable, safe alternative to surgical weight-loss treatments.
Researchers designed the Bariatric Embolization of Arteries for the Treatment of Obesity (BEAT Obesity) pilot clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of bariatric arterial embolization as a minimally invasive, image-guided treatment option for obese people struggling with weight loss.
"These early results demonstrate that BAE appears to be effective in helping patients lose a significant amount of weight in the short and intermediate term," said Clifford Weiss, M.D., FSIR, associate professor of radiology and radiological science and director of interventional radiology research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Compared to a surgical gastric bypass procedure, BAE is significantly less invasive and has a much shorter recovery time."
BAE targets a specific portion of the stomach (the fundus), which produces the vast majority of the body's most powerful hunger hormone, called ghrelin. The interventional radiologist injects microscopic beads to decrease blood flow to that portion of the stomach, thereby suppressing some of the body's hunger signals, leading to reduced appetite and weight loss.
Weiss and his team enrolled seven severely obese, but otherwise-healthy, adults with a body mass index (BMI) ranging from 40 to 60, far above the obesity threshold level of BMI of 30. After the treatment, researchers tracked the subjects' weight loss, ghrelin levels, hunger and satiety assessments, quality-of-life (using surveys), blood pressure, and adverse events at one-, three- and six-month marks.
In the first month following BAE, participants had an average excess-weight loss (the percentage loss of the pounds above the patient's ideal body weight) of 5.9 percent. After six months, the participants' excess-weight loss increased to an average of 13.3 percent.
The researchers stressed that this research is still in its early stages and more testing is needed.
About the Society of Interventional Radiology
The Society of Interventional Radiology is a nonprofit, professional medical society representing more than 6,100 practicing interventional radiology physicians, scientists and clinical associates, dedicated to improving patient care through the limitless potential of image-guided therapies.
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology