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Cryoablation of Posterior Vagal Trunk Feasible in Obesity

Technical success rate 100 percent in 10 subjects; no procedure-related complications, adverse events

WEDNESDAY, March 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Percutaneous computed tomography (CT)-guided cryoablation of the posterior vagal trunk is safe and feasible for patients with mild to moderate obesity, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology, held from March 17 to 22 in Los Angeles.

David Prologo, M.D., from the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the feasibility and safety of percutaneous CT-guided cryoablation of the posterior vagal trunk in 10 subjects with mild-to-moderate obesity (body mass index between 30 and 37 kg/m²). Patients were primarily evaluated for procedure-related complications or adverse events; at baseline and at each follow-up visit, anthropometric measurements were obtained.

The researchers found that there was a 100 percent technical success rate and no procedure-related complications. No adverse events were identified during follow-up. At 90 days, the average total weight loss and excess BMI lost were 3.6 and 13.9 percent, respectively. At all follow-up points after the procedure, all patients reported decreased appetite: 17, 30, and 53 percent reported somewhat less appetite, much less appetite, and very much less appetite, respectively.

“When our stomachs are empty, the body senses this and switches to food-seeking survival mode,” Prologo said in a statement. “We’re not trying to eliminate this biological response, only reduce the strength of this signal to the brain to provide a new, sustainable solution to the difficult problem of treating mild obesity.”

The study was funded by HealthTronics, which manufactures the ablation probes used for the treatment.

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