†These authors contributed equally.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Lionetti
Background: Systemic inflammation can occur after transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and correlates with adverse outcome. The impact of remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) on TAVR associated systemic inflammation is unknown and was focus of this study. Methods: We performed a prospective controlled trial at a single center and included 66 patients treated with remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) prior to TAVR, who were matched to a control group by propensity score. RIPC was applied to the upper extremity using a conventional tourniquet. Definition of systemic inflammation was based on leucocyte count, C-reactive protein (CRP), procalcitonin (PCT) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), assessed in the first 5 days following the TAVR procedure. Mortality was determined within 6 months after TAVR. RIPC group and matched control group showed comparable baseline characteristics. Results: Systemic inflammation occurred in 66% of all patients after TAVR. Overall, survival after 6 months was significantly reduced in patients with systemic inflammation. RIPC, in comparison to control, did not significantly alter the plasma levels of leucocyte count, CRP, PCT or IL-6 within the first 5 days after TAVR. Furthermore, inflammation associated survival after 6 months was not improved by RIPC. Of all peri-interventional variables assessed, only the amount of the applied contrast agent was connected to the occurrence of systemic inflammation. Conclusions: Systemic inflammation frequently occurs after TAVR and leads to increased mortality after 6 months. RIPC neither reduces the incidence of systemic inflammation nor improves inflammation associated patient survival within 6 months.