BACKGROUND: Remote ischaemic preconditioning (RIPC) has been shown to have a protective role on vital organs exposed to reperfusion injury. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the effects of non-invasive RIPC on clinical and biochemical outcomes in patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery.
METHODS: A systematic literature search of PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and Cochrane databases was carried out in February 2020. RCTs investigating the effect of non-invasive RIPC in adults undergoing non-cardiac surgery were included. Meta-analyses and trial sequential analyses (TSAs) were performed on cardiovascular events, acute kidney injury, and short- and long-term mortality.
RESULTS: Some 43 RCTs including 3660 patients were included. The surgical areas comprised orthopaedic, vascular, abdominal, pulmonary, neurological, and urological surgery. Meta-analysis showed RIPC to be associated with fewer cardiovascular events in non-cardiac surgery (13 trials, 1968 patients, 421 events; odds ratio (OR) 0.68, 95 per cent c.i. 0.47 to 0.96; P = 0.03). Meta-analyses of the effect of RIPC on acute kidney injury (12 trials, 1208 patients, 211 events; OR 1.14, 0.78 to 1.69; P = 0.50; I2 = 9 per cent), short-term mortality (7 trials, 1239 patients, 65 events; OR 0.65, 0.37 to 1.12; P = 0.12; I2 = 0 per cent), and long-term mortality (4 trials, 1167 patients, 9 events; OR 0.67, 0.18 to 2.55; P = 0.56; I2 = 0 per cent) showed no significant differences for RIPC compared with standard perioperative care in non-cardiac surgery. However, TSAs showed that the required information sizes have not yet been reached.
CONCLUSION: Application of RIPC to non-cardiac surgery might reduce cardiovascular events, but not acute kidney injury or all-cause mortality, but currently available data are inadequate to confirm or reject an assumed intervention effect.