Results from previous studies evaluating the effects of remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) on morbidity and mortality after cardiac surgery are inconsistent. This meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) aims to determine whether RIPC improves cardiac and renal outcomes in adults undergoing cardiac surgery.
PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library were comprehensively searched to identify RCTs comparing RIPC with control in cardiac surgery. The coprimary outcomes were the incidence of postoperative myocardial infarction (MI) and the incidence of postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI). Meta-analyses were performed using a random-effect model. Subgroup analyses were conducted according to volatile only anesthesia versus propofol anesthesia with or without volatiles, high-risk patients versus non–high-risk patients, and Acute Kidney Injury Network (AKIN) or Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) criteria versus other criteria for AKI diagnosis.
A total of 79 RCTs with 10,814 patients were included. While the incidence of postoperative MI did not differ between the RIPC and control groups (8.2% vs 9.7%; risk ratio [RR] = 0.87, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76–1.01, P = .07, I2 = 0%), RIPC significantly reduced the incidence of postoperative AKI (22% vs 24.4%; RR = 0.86, 95% CI, 0.77–0.97, P = .01, I2 = 34%). The subgroup analyses showed that RIPC was associated with a reduced incidence of MI in non–high-risk patients, and that RIPC was associated with a reduced incidence of AKI in volatile only anesthesia, in non–high-risk patients, and in the studies using AKIN or KDIGO criteria for AKI diagnosis.
This meta-analysis demonstrates that RIPC reduces the incidence of AKI after cardiac surgery. This renoprotective effect of RIPC is mainly evident during volatile only anesthesia, in non–high-risk patients, and when AKIN or KDIGO criteria used for AKI diagnosis.