Aspiration therapy for the treatment of obesity: 4-year results of a multicenter randomized controlled trial

Christopher C. Thompson, Barham K. Abu Dayyeh, Vladimir Kushnir, Robert F. Kushner, Pichamol Jirapinyo, Alan B. Schorr, Louis J. Aronne, Anastassia Amaro, David L. Jaffe, Allison R. Schulman, Dayna Early, Adam C. Stein, Reem Sharaiha, Steven A. Edmundowicz, J. Matthew Bohning, Michael D. Jensen, Alpana P. Shukla, Caroline Apovian, Dong Wook Kim, Daniel TranAmir Zarrinpar, Michele B. Ryan, Meredith Young, Abigail Lowe, Miki Haas, Heidi Goldsmith, Jennifer McCrea, Shelby Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background: The AspireAssist is the first Food and Drug Administration–approved endoluminal device indicated for treatment of class II and III obesity. Objectives: We earlier reported 1-year results of the PATHWAY study. Here, we report 4-year outcomes. Setting: United States–based, 10-center, randomized controlled trial involving 171 participants with the treatment arm receiving Aspiration Therapy (AT) plus Lifestyle Therapy and the control arm receiving Lifestyle Therapy (2:1 randomization). Methods: AT participants were permitted to continue in the study for an additional year up to a maximum of 5 years providing they maintained at least 10% total weight loss (TWL) from baseline at each year end. For AT participants who continued the study, 5 medical monitoring visits were provided at weeks 60, 68, 76, 90, and 104 and thereafter once every 13 weeks up to week 260. Exclusion criteria were a history of eating disorder or evidence of eating disorder on a validated questionnaire. Follow-up weight, quality of life, and co-morbidities were compared with the baseline levels. In addition, rates of serious adverse event, persistent fistula, withdrawal, and A-tube replacement were reported. All analyses were performed using a per-protocol analysis. Results: Of the 82 AT participants who completed 1 year, 58 continued to this phase of the trial. Mean baseline body mass index of these 58 patients was 41.6 ± 4.5 kg/m2. At the end of first year (at the beginning of the follow-up study), these 58 patients had a body mass index of 34.1 ± 5.4 kg/m2 and had achieved an 18.3 ± 8.0% TWL. On a per protocol basis, patients experienced 14.2%, 15.3%, 16.6%, and 18.7% TWL at 1, 2, 3, and 4 years, respectively (P <.01 for all). Forty of 58 patients (69%) achieved at least 10% TWL at 4 years or at time of study withdrawal. Improvements in quality of life scores and select cardiometabolic parameters were also maintained through 4 years. There were 2 serious adverse events reported in the second through fourth years, both of which resolved with removal or replacement of the A tube. Two persistent fistulas required surgical repair, representing approximately 2% of all tube removals. There were no clinically significant metabolic or electrolytes disorders observed, nor any evidence for development of any eating disorders. Conclusions: The results of this midterm study have shown that AT is a safe, effective, and durable weight loss alternative for people with class II and III obesity and who are willing to commit to using the therapy and adhere to adjustments in eating behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1354
Number of pages7
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Aspiration therapy
  • Diet
  • Endoscopic bariatric therapy (EBT)
  • Metabolic
  • Obesity


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