New study uses freezing technique to target vagus nerve and obesity

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | April 24, 2017

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Alysia Satchel
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Photo Credit: Kevin Makowski, RBP, Emory University School of Medicine

A new study is underway throughout Emory Healthcare to evaluate the use of cryoablation, or extreme cold, to treat mild to moderate obesity.

The clinical trial, called "Percutaneous Image Guided Cryoablation of the Vagus Nerve for Management of Mild-Moderate Obesity" will assess the safety of cryoablation of the posterior vagus nerve.

The vagus nerve is connected to the brain and branches to many major organs including the digestive system, heart and lungs, among others.

The two-year study will enroll 20 subjects, and participants will serve as their own control group.

J. David Prologo, MD, director of Interventional Radiology Services at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, and assistant professor in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences in Emory's School of Medicine, is the principal investigator of this interventional study. 

"We use image guidance to insert a cryoablation probe near the stomach, targeting the nerve that sends hunger signals to the brain," says Prologo.

The trial will examine patients using self-reported questionnaires regarding physical activity, appetite and living habits as well as data measurement.

Participants will attend five visits for evaluation and doctors will follow their progress for six months after the procedure. The outpatient cryoablation procedure takes about an hour.

Endocare, Inc. is funding this clinical trial.

For more information about this study, contact the study coordinator, Maria Rivas at 404-712-7962.