Gastric Mucosal Devitalization (GMD): Using the Porcine Model to Develop a Novel Endoscopic Bariatric Approach

Mohamad I. Itani, Andreas Oberbach, Kevan J. Salimian, Markus Enderle, Hartmut Hahn, Shahem Abbarh, Katherine Kendrick, Nadine Schlichting, Robert A. Anders, Sepideh Besharati, Jad Farha, Lea Fayad, Anthony N. Kalloo, Dilhana Badurdeen, Vivek Kumbhari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Aims: As the pig model has similar gastrointestinal anatomy and physiology to humans, we used pigs to create a gastric mucosal devitalization (GMD) model in preparation for clinical translation of this technique as an endoscopic bariatric therapy (EBT). The aims of this study were to determine the ablation parameters and technique for a successful, safe, and feasible large surface area GMD that produces weight loss. Methods: We performed GMD using argon plasma coagulation (APC) in 3 phases. Phase 1 assessed the ablation energy required to accomplish selective mucosal ablation using ex vivo pig stomachs (n = 2). Phase 2 assessed the optimal percentage of mucosal surface area to be treated and was performed on 10 pigs. Phase 3 assessed feasibility, efficacy, and safety with 8 pigs randomized into GMD (n = 4) or sham (SH, n = 4) and survived for 1 month. Body weights (GMD, n = 4, SH, n = 4) were measured daily in phase 3 for 1 month, and relative body weights were calculated and analyzed using one-tailed Student’s t-test. Percent body fat was compared between GMD and SH at baseline and 1 month post-GMD. Results: Phase 1 identified the optimal ablation parameters (120 W) that were then used in phase 2. Phase 2 revealed a trend that was suggestive that the optimal percent surface area to ablate was similar to that which is removed at laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. In phase 3, GMD was performed over 70% surface area of the greater curvature of the stomach in four pigs. GMD pigs had significantly lower relative body weight increase compared to SH at 1 month (1.375 ± 0.085 vs 1.575 ± 0.047, p = 0.0435). MRI showed a significantly lower body fat mass at 1 month in GMD pigs (5.9 ± 0.4% vs 12.7 ± 2.3%, p = 0.026) compared to SH. Conclusions: GMD resulted in decreased weight gain in the GMD group as evidenced by a lower relative body weight at 1 month. GMD in an animal model appears to show promise as a potential weight loss therapy. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-390
Number of pages10
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Bariatric therapy
  • Gastric mucosal devitalization
  • Pig model
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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