Background: Repeated remote ischaemic conditioning (RIC) during weaning from cardiopulmonary bypass and in the early postoperative period may confer protection against acute kidney injury (AKI). We evaluated the effect of repeated RIC on the incidence of AKI in patients undergoing valvular heart surgery. Methods: Patients were randomised into either the RIC (n=120) or control (n=124) group. A pneumatic tourniquet was placed on each patient's thigh. Upon removal of the aortic cross-clamp, three cycles of inflation for 5 min at 250 mm Hg (with 5 min intervals) were applied in the RIC group. Additionally, three cycles of RIC were repeated at postoperative 12 and 24 h. AKI was diagnosed based on the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes guideline. The incidences of renal replacement therapy, permanent stroke, sternal wound infection, newly developed atrial fibrillation, mechanical ventilation >24 h, and reoperation for bleeding during hospitalisation were recorded. Results: The incidences of AKI were not significantly different between the control (19.4%) and RIC (15.8%) groups (a difference of 3.5 percentage points; 95% confidence interval: –6.8%–13.9%; P=0.470). Perioperative serum creatinine concentrations were similar in the control and RIC groups (P=0.494). Fluid balance, urine output, blood loss, transfusion, and vasopressor/inotropic requirements were not significantly different between the groups (all P>0.05). The occurrences of a composite of morbidity and mortality endpoints were not significantly different between the control (46.0%) and RIC (39.2%) groups (a difference of 6.8 percentage points; 95% confidence interval: –6.4%–20.0%; P=0.283). Conclusions: The results of our study do not support repeated RIC to decrease the incidence of AKI after valvular heart surgery. Clinical trial registration: NCT02720549.
Song, J. W., Lee, W. K., Lee, S., Shim, J. K., Kim, H. J., & Kwak, Y. L. (2018). Remote ischaemic conditioning for prevention of acute kidney injury after valvular heart surgery: a randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 121(5), 1034–1040. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bja.2018.07.035