Coronary flow response to remote ischemic preconditioning is preserved in old cardiac patients

Elpidio Santillo, Monica Migale, Fabrizio Balestrini, Demetrio Postacchini, Silvia Bustacchini, Fabrizia Lattanzio, Raffaele Antonelli-Incalzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The effect of remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) on coronary flow in elderly cardiac patients has not been investigated yet. Thus, we aimed to study the change of coronary flow subsequent to RIPC in old patients with heart diseases and to identify its main correlates. Methods: Ninety-five elderly patients (aged ≥ 65 years) accessing cardiac rehabilitation ward underwent transthoracic ultrasound evaluation of peak diastolic flow velocity of left anterior descending artery. Measurements of coronary flow velocity were performed on baseline and after an RIPC protocol (three cycles of 5 min ischemia of right arm alternating 5 min reperfusion). Differences between subjects with coronary flow velocity change over or equal the 75° percentile (high-responders) and subjects with a coronary flow velocity change under the 75° percentile (low-responders) were assessed. Results: In enrolled elderly heart patients, coronary flow velocity significantly augmented from baseline after RIPC [0.23 m/s (0.18–0.28) vs 0.27 m/s (0.22–0.36); p < 0.001 by Wilcoxon test]. High-responders to RIPC were significantly younger and in better functional status than low-responders. Heart failure resulted as the main variable associated with impairment of RIPC responsiveness (R2 = 0.202; p = 0.002)]. Conclusions: Our sample of old cardiac patients presented a significant median increment of coronary flow velocity after RIPC. The magnitude of the observed change of coronary flow velocity was comparable to that previously described in healthy subjects. The coronary response to RIPC was attenuated by heart failure. Further research should define whether such RIPC responsiveness is associated with cardioprotection and carries prognostic implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 20 2017


  • Aging heart
  • Cardioprotection
  • Coronary flow velocity
  • Heart failure
  • Ischemic preconditioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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