Benefits of remote ischaemic preconditioning in vascular surgery

C P Twine, S Ferguson, J R Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review


OBJECTIVES: Remote ischaemic preconditioning (RIPC) is a physiological mechanism to protect against ischaemia-reperfusion injury. It is a technique in which short pre-emptive periods of ischaemia and reperfusion are thought to protect against ischaemia-reperfusion injury during procedures requiring longer periods of ischaemia. Discovered in the 1980s, its clinical application has been investigated heavily since the first human study in 2006. The aim of this paper was to provide a review of this rapidly expanding subject.

METHODS: This study consists of a narrative review of the literature focusing on previous meta-analyses and randomised control trials.

RESULTS: Five small randomised trials have been published on the effects of RIPC in vascular surgery. Several randomised trials have been published in cardiac surgery and percutaneous coronary intervention. Meta-analysis shows a significant reduction in troponin levels and biomarkers of renal dysfunction in RIPC patients, but as yet no convincing clinical benefit. The largest powered randomised trial in cardiac surgery showed no benefit to RIPC.

CONCLUSIONS: Current trials and therefore meta-analyses are generally underpowered. The technique is physiologically sound but remains lacking in clear clinical benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-9
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2014 European Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Preconditioning/methods
  • Reperfusion Injury/etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures/adverse effects

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