Background: Remote ischemic postconditioning (RIPC) is suggested to protect the myocardium against ischemia in various settings. However, the effect of RIPC in patients with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) who undergo thrombolysis has yet to be examined.
Patients and methods: In this single-center, randomized controlled trial, we examined the effect of RIPC on the resolution of ST-segment elevation (STR) in response to thrombolysis. Patients in the RIPC group had three cycles of 5‑min cuff inflation followed by 5‑min deflation to the upper arm.
Results: The study comprised 78 patients (15 women), of whom 41 were randomized to the RIPC group and 37 to the control group. STR occurred in 61% of the patients in the RIPC group, while it was detected only in 35% of controls (p = 0.026). Although STR was more common in the RIPC group, there was no difference in the extent of ΣCK-48 h between the two groups. Furthermore, the length of hospital stay and the frequency of adverse events were similar between the RIPC and control groups.
Conclusion: RIPC during thrombolytic therapy in STEMI was associated with a higher frequency of STR. However, it did not affect enzymatic infarct size or the frequency of adverse events. (Clinical trial registration number: IRCT2014011916229N2.).
Keywords: Ischemia; Myocardium; Reperfusion; ST-segment elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI); Thrombolytic therapy.