Catheter-directed gastric artery chemical embolization suppresses systemic ghrelin levels in porcine model

Radiology. 2008 Oct;249(1):127-33. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2491071232.


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 mug) 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catheterization
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Ghrelin / blood*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sclerosing Solutions / therapeutic use
  • Sodium Morrhuate / therapeutic use
  • Stomach / blood supply*
  • Swine
  • Weight Gain / drug effects*


  • Ghrelin
  • Sclerosing Solutions
  • Sodium Morrhuate