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No Pain, No Gain: Weight Loss, Disc Disease Interventional Radiology Treatments Coming
Date:3/26/2012

gist uses a thin catheter to inject tiny particles into an artery supplying the area being treated with the goal of blocking tiny vessels to starve it of its blood supply. "Interventional radiologists have safely and effectively used embolization in many other disease states for decades," stated Kim. "For this study, we selectively blocked and decreased the blood flow to a very specific part of the stomach using specialized radiologic equipment, which led to significantly decreased levels of ghrelin in the animals that we treated. We found that when ghrelin levels decrease, appetite and hunger also decrease, causing weight loss in the treated animals relative to non-treated animals," Kim continued. "Bariatric arterial embolization may have a future use in treating obesity in humans by significantly suppressing appetite to achieve weight loss," he said.

The researchers will continue studies aimed at the reduction and elimination of complications, such as stomach ulcers, and expressed confidence that bariatric arterial embolization is very close to moving toward the clinical trial phase in the United States.

A second study tested a new type of X-ray-visible embolic bead in bariatric arterial embolization.

"Until now, clinically available embolic beads have not been visible on X-ray during or after delivery. We developed a new embolic bead that can be seen directly by X-ray imaging and have tested them in the new bariatric embolization treatment for obesity," explained Clifford R. Weiss, M.D., assistant professor of radiology at Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md.

"The current system requires that the beads be mixed with X-ray-visible contrast agents before delivery. Although this mixture is visible during infusion, the contrast immediately washes away, and the location of the beads can no longer be 'tracked,'" Weiss said. "By making the beads X-ray visible and using them in tandem with C-arm co
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