Remote Ischemic Preconditioning and Endothelial Function in Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction and Primary PCI

Published:February 24, 2014DOI:



      Remote ischemic preconditioning by transient limb ischemia reduces myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. The aim of the study we report here was to assess the effect of remote ischemic preconditioning on endothelial function in patients with acute myocardial infarction who underwent primary percutaneous coronary intervention.


      Forty-eight patients with acute myocardial infarction were enrolled. All participants were randomly divided into 2 groups. In Group I (n = 23), remote ischemic preconditioning was performed before primary percutaneous coronary intervention (intermittent arm ischemia-reperfusion through 4 cycles of 5-minute inflation and 5-minute deflation of a blood-pressure cuff to 200 mm Hg). In Group II (n = 25), standard percutaneous coronary intervention without preconditioning was performed. We assessed endothelial function using the flow-mediated dilation test on baseline, then within 1-3 hours after percutaneous coronary intervention, and again on days 2 and 7 after percutaneous coronary intervention.


      The brachial artery flow-mediated dilation results were significantly higher on the first day after primary percutaneous coronary intervention in the preconditioning group (Group I) than in the control group (Group II) (12.1% vs 0.0%, P = .03, and 11.1% vs 6.3%, P = .016, respectively), and this difference remained on the seventh day (12.3% vs 7.4%, P = .0005, respectively).


      We demonstrated for the first time that remote ischemic preconditioning before primary percutaneous coronary intervention significantly improves endothelial function in patients with acute myocardial infarction, and this effect remains constant for at least a week. We suppose that the improvement of endothelial function may be one of the possible explanations of the effect of remote ischemic preconditioning.


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