Gastric supply manipulation to modulate ghrelin production and enhance vascularization to the cardia: proof of the concept in a porcine model

Surg Innov. 2015 Feb;22(1):5-14. doi: 10.1177/1553350614552734. Epub 2014 Oct 7.


Introduction: Selective embolization of the left-gastric artery (LGA) reduces levels of ghrelin and achieves significant short-term weight loss. However, embolization of the LGA would prevent the performance of bariatric procedures because the high-risk leakage area (gastroesophageal junction [GEJ]) would be devascularized.

Aim: To assess an alternative vascular approach to the modulation of ghrelin levels and generate a blood flow manipulation, consequently increasing the vascular supply to the GEJ.

Materials and methods: A total of 6 pigs underwent a laparoscopic clipping of the left gastroepiploic artery. Preoperative and postoperative CT angiographies were performed. Ghrelin levels were assessed perioperatively and then once per week for 3 weeks. Reactive oxygen species (ROS; expressed as ROS/mg of dry weight [DW]), mitochondria respiratory rate, and capillary lactates were assessed before and 1 hour after clipping (T0 and T1) and after 3 weeks of survival (T2), on seromuscular biopsies. A celiac trunk angiography was performed at 3 weeks.

Results: Mean (±standard deviation) ghrelin levels were significantly reduced 1 hour after clipping (1902 ± 307.8 pg/mL vs. 1084 ± 680.0; P = .04) and at 3 weeks (954.5 ± 473.2 pg/mL; P = .01). Mean ROS levels were statistically significantly decreased at the cardia at T2 when compared with T0 (0.018 ± 0.006 mg/DW vs. 0.02957 ± 0.0096 mg/DW; P = .01) and T1 (0.0376 ± 0.008 mg/DW; P = .007). Capillary lactates were significantly decreased after 3 weeks, and the mitochondria respiratory rate remained constant over time at the cardia and pylorus, showing significant regional differences.

Conclusions: Manipulation of the gastric flow targeting the gastroepiploic arcade induces ghrelin reduction. An endovascular approach is currently under evaluation.

Keywords: bariatric gastric flow manipulation; gastric arteries embolization; ischemic preconditioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiography
  • Animals
  • Cardia / physiology*
  • Celiac Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Gastroepiploic Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Gastroepiploic Artery / surgery*
  • Ghrelin / analysis
  • Ghrelin / metabolism*
  • Lactates / blood
  • Male
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / analysis
  • Stomach / blood supply*
  • Swine


  • Ghrelin
  • Lactates
  • Reactive Oxygen Species