To determine the effect of remote ischemic postconditioning (RIPC) on patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) undergoing IV thrombolysis (IVT).
A single-center randomized controlled trial was performed with patients with AIS receiving IVT. Patients in the RIPC group were administered RIPC treatment (after IVT) during hospitalization. The primary endpoint was a score of 0 or 1 on the modified Rankin scale (mRS) at day 90. The safety, tolerability, and neuroprotection biomarkers associated with RIPC were also evaluated.
We collected data from both the RIPC group (n = 34) and the control group (n = 34). The average duration of hospitalization was 11.2 days. There was no significant difference between 2 groups at admission for the NIH Stroke Scale score (p = 0.364) or occur-to-treatment time (p = 0.889). Favorable recovery (mRS score 0-1) at 3 months was obtained in 71.9% of patients in the RIPC group vs 50.0% in the control group (adjusted odds ratio 9.85, 95% confidence interval 1.54-63.16; p = 0.016). We further found significantly lower plasma S100-β (p = 0.007) and higher vascular endothelial growth factor (p = 0.003) levels in the RIPC group than in the control group.
Repeated RIPC combined with IVT can significantly facilitate recovery of nerve function and improve clinical prognosis of patients with AIS.
CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE
This study provides Class IV evidence that RIPC after tissue plasminogen activator treatment of AIS significantly increases the proportion of patients with an MRS score of 0 or 1 at 90 days.