In 1993, Przyklenk and colleagues made the intriguing experimental observation that ‘brief ischemia in one vascular bed also protects remote, virgin myocardium from subsequent sustained coronary artery occlusion’ and that this effect ‘…. may be mediated by factor(s) activated, produced, or transported throughout the heart during brief ischemia/reperfusion’. This seminal study laid the foundation for the discovery of ‘remote ischemic conditioning’ (RIC), a phenomenon in which the heart is protected from the detrimental effects of acute ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI), by applying cycles of brief ischemia and reperfusion to an organ or tissue remote from the heart. The concept of RIC quickly evolved to extend beyond the heart, encompassing inter-organ protection against acute IRI. The crucial discovery that the protective RIC stimulus could be applied non-invasively, by simply inflating and deflating a blood pressure cuff placed on the upper arm to induce cycles of brief ischemia and reperfusion, has facilitated the translation of RIC into the clinical setting. Despite intensive investigation over the last 20 years, the underlying mechanisms continue to elude researchers. In the 8th Biennial Hatter Cardiovascular Institute Workshop, recent developments in the field of RIC were discussed with a focus on new insights into the underlying mechanisms, the diversity of non-cardiac protection, new clinical applications, and large outcome studies. The scientific advances made in this field of research highlight the journey that RIC has made from being an intriguing experimental observation to a clinical application with patient benefit.
- Organ protection
- Remote ischemic conditioning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)