Translational challenges of remote ischemic conditioning in ischemic stroke - a systematic review

Line Fuglsang Hansen, Nicholine S K Nielsen, Laura Cathrine Christoffersen, Christina Kruuse

2 Citations (Scopus)


Remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) has well-established cardioprotective effects in preclinical studies and promising results in preclinical stroke research. Effective translation from preclinical studies to clinical trials has yet to be accomplished, perhaps because of the use of multiple applications of RIC (e.g., pre-, per-, or post-conditioning) in preclinical studies by both invasive and non-invasive protocols, some of which not clinically applicable. Our systematic review conformed to PRISMA guidelines and addressed differences in clinically relevant RIC applications and outcomes between preclinical and clinical studies. We retrieved a total of 30 studies (8 human; 22 animal) that met the inclusion criteria of testing clinically relevant procedures; namely, non-invasive and per- or post-conditioning protocols. Per-conditioning was applied in 6 animal and 3 human studies, post-conditioning was applied in 16 animal and 5 human studies, and both conditioning methods were applied in 2 animal studies. Application of RIC varied between human and animal studies regarding initiation, duration, repetition, and number of limbs included. Study designs did not systematically apply blinding, randomization, or placebo controls. On only a few occasions did preclinical studies include animals with clinically relevant comorbidities. Clinical trials were challenged by not completing the intended number of RIC cycles or addressing this deficit in the data analysis. Consistency and transferability of methods used for positive animal studies and subsequent human studies are essential for the optimal translation of results. Consensus on preclinical and clinical RIC procedures should be reached for a full understanding of the possible beneficial effects of RIC treatment in stroke.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Clinical and Translational Neurology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1720-1729
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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