Background: Single exposure to remote ischaemic pre-conditioning (RIPC) has been shown to be effective in reducing major adverse events during cardiac surgery. We evaluated the efficacy of repeated exposure RIPC to elicit improvements in cardiovascular function. Methods: A systematic search was conducted up until May 1st, 2015, using the following databases: EMBASE, PubMed (Medline), Web of Science and the Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). Data was extracted and synthesized from published studies of repeat RIPC. Results: Data from seven studies showed evidence of improvements in vascular function and anti-hypertensive effects of systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure following repeat RIPC. Currently existing work justifies a systematic review but not data pooling of individual study data. Repeat RIPC has also produced evidence of improvements in endothelial dependent vasodilation, but not non-endothelial dependent vasodilation, cutaneous vascular conductance or cardiorespiratory fitness. Conclusion: Repeated RIPC exposure has produced evidence of improvements in endothelial dependent vasodilation, ulcer healing and blood pressure but no benefit in non-endothelial dependent vasodilation, cutaneous vascular conductance or cardiorespiratory fitness. The optimal delivery of RIPC remains unclear, but at least 3 or preferably 4, 5 min exposures appears to be most beneficial, at least for reducing blood pressure. Aside from those undertaking cardiac surgery, other study populations with endothelial dysfunction may benefit from repeat exposure to RIPC.
Epps, J., Dieberg, G., & Smart, N. A. (2016, June 1). Repeat remote ischaemic pre-conditioning for improved cardiovascular function in humans: A systematic review. IJC Heart and Vasculature. Elsevier Ireland Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcha.2016.03.003