Intragastric Balloon Placement Induces Significant Metabolic and Histologic Improvement in Patients With Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

Fateh Bazerbachi, Eric J. Vargas, Monika Rizk, Daniel B. Maselli, Taofic Mounajjed, Sudhakar K. Venkatesh, Kymberly D. Watt, John D. Port, Rita Basu, Andres Acosta, Ibrahim Hanouneh, Naveen Gara, Meera Shah, Manpreet Mundi, Matthew Clark, Karen Grothe, Andrew C. Storm, Michael J. Levy, Barham K. Abu Dayyeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Obese patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are at risk for cirrhosis if significant weight loss is not achieved. The single fluid-filled intragastric balloon (IGB) induces meaningful weight loss and might be used in NASH treatment. We performed an open-label prospective study to evaluate the effects of IGB placement on metabolic and histologic features of NASH. Methods: Twenty-one patients with early hepatic fibrosis (81% female; mean age, 54 years; average body mass index, 44 kg/m2) underwent magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) and endoscopic ultrasound with core liver biopsy collection at time IGB placement and removal at a single center from October 2016 through March 2018. The primary outcome measure was the changes in liver histology parameters after IGB, including change in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease activity score (NAS) and fibrosis score. We also evaluated changes in weight, body mass index, waist to hip ratio, aminotransaminases, fasting levels of lipids, fasting glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, and MRE-detected liver stiffness. Results: Six months after IGB, patients’ mean total body weight loss was 11.7% ± 7.7%, with significant reductions in HbA1c (1.3% ± 0.5%) (P =.02). Waist circumference decreased by 14.4 ± 2.2 cm (P =.001). NAS improved in 18 of 20 patients (90%), with a median decrease of 3 points (range, 1–4 points); 16 of 20 patients (80%) had improvements of 2 points or more. Fibrosis improved by 1.17 stages in 15% of patients, and MRE-detected fibrosis improved by 1.5 stages in 10 of 20 patients (50%). Half of patients reached endpoints approved by the Food and Drug Administration of for NASH resolution and fibrosis improvement. Percent total body weight loss did not correlate with reductions in NAS or fibrosis. Other than post-procedural pain (in 5% of patients), no serious adverse events were reported. Conclusion: In a prospective study, IGB facilitated significant metabolic and histologic improvements in NASH. IGB appears to be safe and effective for NASH management when combined with a prescribed diet and exercise program. no: NCT02880189

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-154.e4
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Bariatric Endoscopy
  • Diabetes
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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