Conference Coverage

ESG’s cardiometabolic benefits last 5 years


At DDW 2022

– Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) led to sustained weight loss and a reduction of cardiometabolic syndrome comorbidities at 5 years, according to a new retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.

Improved cardiometabolic outcomes following bariatric surgery have been well documented, but ESG is relatively new, so its outcomes haven’t been as well described. The outcomes are encouraging, though not as good as those of bariatric surgery. “It’s still better, but only one percent of the patients undergo the surgery, even though they’re candidates,” said Donevan Westerveld, MD, who presented the study at the annual Digestive Disease Week® (DDW).

Dr. Donevan Westerveld, a second-year fellow at Weill Cornell Medicine Jim Kling/MDedge News

Dr. Donevan Westerveld

Improvements included weight, HbA1c percentage, hypertension, and low-density lipoprotein. “I was surprised that the LDL decreased numerically, not so much HbA1c and hypertension. I knew [those] would come down with weight loss,” said Dr. Westerveld, a second-year fellow at Weill Cornell Medicine, New York.

He also called for guidelines for ESG. “Given the fact there’s an improvement of comorbid conditions, it’s something we should look at,” said Dr. Westerveld.

“It’s fascinating because it tells us two important things about endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty. One, [the benefit] in the majority of cases lasts at least 5 years. The weight loss is durable. And then it tells us that there’s improvement in all the cardiometabolic factors that matter, and those effects are seen all the way up to 5 years. So very important findings that support the benefits of the endoscopic gastroplasty in obesity and cardiometabolic risks and metabolic syndrome,” said Andres Acosta, MD, PhD, a comoderator of the session where the study was presented. He is assistant professor of medicine and a consultant in gastroenterology and hepatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The findings should also encourage more innovation. “Doing these endoscopic procedures, having successful results that hold for 5 years, opens the path for new and better procedures, so we have better weight loss,” said Dr. Acosta.

Previous work by Dr. Westerveld’s group found benefits of ESG at 12 months, including improvements in mean HbA1c levels in all patients (6.1%-5.5%; P = .05) and those with diabetes or prediabetes (6.6%-5.6%; P = .02), reduction in mean waist circumference (119.66-92.75 cm; P < .001), reduction in systolic blood pressure (129.02-122.23 mg/dL; P = .023), triglycerides (131.84-92.36 mg/dL; P = .017), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT, 32.26-20.68 mg/dL; P < .001).

In the new study, the group followed 255 patients at 1, 3, and 5 years post procedure who were treated consecutively at Weill Cornell Medicine from 2013 to 2021. Among the patients were those who had failed weight loss measures and were either not candidates for surgery or had refused surgery.

The mean age was 45.5 years, 69% were female, and the mean body mass index was 38.6. Overall, 40.3% had prediabetes or diabetes, 26.7% had hypertension, 60.8% had low-density lipoprotein (LDL) above 100 mg/dL, and 29.3% had elevated ALT. Sixty-six percent had been followed up at 1 year, 78% at 3 years, and 87% at 5 years.

Weight loss averaged 15.7% at 1 year and 15.3% at year 5, and the values were statistically significant. Among patients with diabetes and prediabetes, HbA1c percentage dropped from a baseline value of 6.4% to 5.7% at year 1, 6.1% at year 3, and 5.8% at year 5 (P < .05 for all). For all patients, the value dropped from 5.8% at baseline to 5.6% at year 1, 5.7% at year 3, and 5.4% at year 5. These changes were not statistically significant.

Systolic blood pressure went down among patients with stage 1 hypertension, from 135 mm Hg at baseline to 122 at year 1 and 121 at year 3 (P < .05 or both), but the mean value increased to 129 at year 5 and was not statistically significant. LDL among all patients declined from 136 mg/dL at baseline to 125 at year 1 (nonsignificant), 115 at year 3 (P < .05), and 109 at year 5 (P < .05). Alanine transaminase values declined from about 29 at baseline to 25 at year 1, 26 at year 3, and 24 at year 5 (P < .05 for all).

Serious adverse events were rare, occurring in just two cases (< 1%).

The study was limited by lack of a sham control, and its retrospective data may have included bias because many of the procedures were not paid for by insurance, leading to high rates of self-pay.

Dr. Westerveld has no relevant financial disclosures. Dr. Acosta is a founder of Gila Therapeutics and Phenomix Sciences. Dr. Acosta consults for Amgen, Gila Therapeutics, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, and General Mills. He has received funding from Rhythm, Novo Nordisk, Apollo Endosurgery, and USGI Medical.

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