Gastric mucosal devitalization is safe and effective in reducing body weight and visceral adiposity in a porcine model

Published:February 21, 2018DOI:

      Background and Aims

      The early improvement in metabolic profile after sleeve gastrectomy (SG) indicates that the significant benefits of metabolic surgery are gastric in origin. We have previously demonstrated that devitalization of the gastric mucosa (without a reduction in gastric volume) in metabolically disturbed obese rats results in an improvement of obesity and its associated comorbidities. The aims of this study were to assess the technical feasibility, efficacy, and safety of gastric mucosal devitalization (GMD) in a large animal (porcine) model.


      A 3-arm (GMD versus SG versus sham [SH]) prospective randomized controlled trial with an 8-week follow-up period was performed. The primary endpoint was relative weight loss. Secondary endpoints were absolute body weight, abdominal visceral adiposity, abdominal subcutaneous adiposity, organ lipid content, and serum ghrelin level.


      GMD resulted in a significant relative weight loss of 36% over SH at 8 weeks (P < .05). There was no significant difference in relative weight loss between GMD and SG at 4 weeks; however, SG resulted in a 29% superior relative weight loss at 8 weeks (P < .05). With regard to visceral adiposity, there was a significant benefit of GMD over SH at 8 weeks. Despite differences in relative weight loss, there was no significant difference in visceral adiposity between SG and GMD at 8 weeks. Significant improvements in GMD over SH were noted with regard to skeletal and heart muscle lipid content. GMD pigs at 8 weeks demonstrated regeneration of the gastric mucosa without ulceration or significant scarring. Despite mucosal regeneration, the abundance of serum ghrelin was significantly lower in the GMD cohort compared with the SG and SH cohorts.


      GMD was technically feasible and resulted in relative weight loss and an improvement in visceral adiposity. The benefits noted were out of proportion to what would be expected with weight loss alone.


      APC (argon plasma coagulation), CI (confidence interval), GMD (gastric mucosal devitalization), RYGB (roux-en-Y gastric bypass), SAT (subcutaneous adipose tissue), SG (sleeve gastrectomy), SH (sham), VAT (visceral adipose tissue)
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