Effect of Remote Ischaemic preConditioning on clinical outcomes in patients undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery (ERICCA): A multicentre randomised controlled clinical trial
Cardiac surgery can lead to complications, for example kidney injury and stroke, caused by ischaemia-reperfusion injury. This type of damage to the heart happens when blood flow is restored to the heart after a period of ischaemia, or lack of oxygen. A strategy that may protect the heart from ischemia-reperfusion injury is remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC). RIPC involves inducing ischaemia in the arm or leg, achieved by several cycles of inflating and deflating an arm blood-pressure cuff, just before surgery.
The Ericca study allocated patients undergoing cardiac surgery across 30 UK centres by chance to receive either RIPC or a “sham” procedure, in which the blood pressure cuff appears to inflate but there is no actual pressure on the arm. In this way, neither doctors nor patients will know which treatment was administered. This is known as a double-blind study.
We followed patients up for one year to determine whether RIPC reduces the rate of complications, including death, heart attack, stroke, further surgical procedures, after surgery.
The results paper for this study was published in 2016.