Brief, non-harmful ischaemic insults to an organ remote from the heart, remote ischaemic preconditioning (RIPC), has been proposed to confer protection to the heart against ischaemia-reperfusion injury. While most clinical trials of RIPC during coronary interventions (PCI) suggest benefit, recent large, multicentre trials in coronary artery bypass surgery suggest a lack of efficacy. Mechanistically, RIPC most likely promotes the release of circulating factors which modulate multiple cellular pathways in the heart, promoting cell survival. This review explores potential mechanisms underlying RIPC and includes a contemporary evaluation of clinical studies in PCI and cardiac surgery, highlighting methodological differences which may explain discrepant findings between these two clinical groups.
- remote ischaemic preconditioning
- ischaemia reperfusion injury
- percutaneous coronary intervention
- coronary artery bypass grafting surgery