Background: We evaluated whether remote ischemic postconditioning (RiPoC) could improve initial graft function in living donor kidney transplantation (KT).
Methods: Patients undergoing living donor KT were randomly assigned to either RiPoC (n=30) or control group (n=30). Immediately after reperfusion in the RiPoC group, three cycles of ischemia and reperfusion, lasting 5 min each, were performed on one upper limb. Renal function was assessed before surgery, 2 hr after surgery, and at 12-hr intervals for 96 hr postsurgery by measuring serum creatinine (sCr) and the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Urine output and urine creatinine were assessed until postoperative day 7, and hospital stay and complication rates were compared.
Results: The time for sCr to reach 50% of its preoperative level was significantly shorter in the RiPoC group than in the control group [12 (12-24) hr for RiPoC vs. 24 (21-36) hr for the control, P=0.005]. The number of patients whose sCr was reduced by 50% within 24 hr was significantly greater in the RiPoC group than in the control group [n=26 (87%) in RiPoC vs. n=18 (60%) in control, P=0.020]. However, there were no differences in sCr and eGFR thereafter, the incidence of graft dysfunction or complication rates between groups.
Conclusion: In this study, RiPoC appeared to hasten the recovery of graft function within 24 hr but did not affect the graft function thereafter. However, considering most recipients had immediate graft function, further studies with deceased donors or studies powered to detect a smaller difference are needed.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01363687.