Remote ischemic post-conditioning of the lower limb during primary percutaneous coronary intervention safely reduces enzymatic infarct size in anterior myocardial infarction: a randomized controlled trial

JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2013 Oct;6(10):1055-63. doi: 10.1016/j.jcin.2013.05.011.


Objectives: This study sought to evaluate whether remote ischemic post-conditioning (RIPC) could reduce enzymatic infarct size in patients with anterior ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (pPCI).

Background: Myocardial reperfusion injury may attenuate the benefit of pPCI. In animal models, RIPC mitigates myocardial reperfusion injury.

Methods: One hundred patients with anterior ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction and occluded left anterior descending artery were randomized to pPCI + RIPC (n = 50) or conventional pPCI (n = 50). RIPC consisted of 3 cycles of 5 min/5 min ischemia/reperfusion by cuff inflation/deflation of the lower limb. The primary endpoint was infarct size assessed by the area under the curve of creatinine kinase-myocardial band release (CK-MB). Secondary endpoints included the following: infarct size assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance delayed enhancement volume; T2-weighted edema volume; ST-segment resolution >50%; TIMI (Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction) frame count; and myocardial blush grading.

Results: Four patients (2 RIPC, 2 controls) were excluded due to missing samples of CK-MB. A total of 96 patients were analyzed; median area under the curve CK-MB was 8,814 (interquartile range [IQR]: 5,567 to 11,325) arbitrary units in the RIPC group and 10,065 (IQR: 7,465 to 14,004) arbitrary units in control subjects (relative reduction: 20%, 95% confidence interval: 0.2% to 28.7%; p = 0.043). Seventy-seven patients underwent a cardiac magnetic resonance scan 3 to 5 days after randomization, and 66 patients repeated a second scan after 4 months. T2-weighted edema volume was 37 ± 16 cc in RIPC patients and 47 ± 22 cc in control subjects (p = 0.049). ST-segment resolution >50% was 66% in RIPC and 37% in control subjects (p = 0.015). We observed no significant differences in TIMI frame count, myocardial blush grading, and delayed enhancement volume.

Conclusions: In patients with anterior ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, RIPC at the time of pPCI reduced enzymatic infarct size and was also associated with an improvement of T2-weighted edema volume and ST-segment resolution >50%. (Remote Postconditioning in Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction Treated by Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention [PCI] [RemPostCon]; NCT00865722).

Keywords: CI; CK-MB; DE; IQR; LAD; LV; MBG; RIPC; ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; ST-segment resolution; STEMI; STR; T(2)-weighted; T2W; TIMI; Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction; anti-GP IIb/IIIa; cardiac magnetic resonance imaging; ce-CMR; confidence interval; contrast enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance; creatine kinase-myocardial band; delayed enhancement; inhibitors of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa; interquartile range; left anterior descending; left ventricle/ventricular; myocardial blush grading; myocardial conditioning; myocardial infarction; myocardial reperfusion injury; pPCI; primary angioplasty; primary percutaneous coronary intervention; remote ischemic post-conditioning.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anterior Wall Myocardial Infarction / blood
  • Anterior Wall Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Anterior Wall Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • Anterior Wall Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Creatine Kinase, MB Form / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Postconditioning / methods*
  • Italy
  • Lower Extremity / blood supply*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / blood
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / physiopathology
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Myocardium / enzymology
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention* / adverse effects
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • ROC Curve
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers
  • Creatine Kinase, MB Form

Associated data