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Remote ischaemic conditioning: defining critical criteria for success—report from the 11th Hatter Cardiovascular Workshop

The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute biennial workshop, originally scheduled for April 2020 but postponed for 2 years due to the Covid pandemic, was organised to debate and discuss the future of Remote Ischaemic Conditioning (RIC). This evolved from the large multicentre CONDI-2–ERIC–PPCI outcome study which demonstrated no additional benefit when using RIC in the setting of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The workshop discussed how conditioning has led to a significant and fundamental understanding of the mechanisms preventing cell death following ischaemia and reperfusion, and the key target cyto-protective pathways recruited by protective interventions, such as RIC. However, the obvious need to translate this protection to the clinical setting has not materialised largely due to the disconnect between preclinical and clinical studies. Discussion points included how to adapt preclinical animal studies to mirror the patient presenting with an acute myocardial infarction, as well as how to refine patient selection in clinical studies to account for co-morbidities and ongoing therapy. These latter scenarios can modify cytoprotective signalling and need to be taken into account to allow for a more robust outcome when powered appropriately. The workshop also discussed the potential for RIC in other disease settings including ischaemic stroke, cardio-oncology and COVID-19. The workshop, therefore, put forward specific classifications which could help identify so-called responders vs. non-responders in both the preclinical and clinical settings.

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