Effect of remote ischemic preconditioning on hemostasis and fibrinolysis in head and neck cancer surgery: A randomized controlled trial

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INTRODUCTION: The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to investigate if remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) reduced platelet aggregation and increased fibrinolysis in cancer patients undergoing surgery and thereby reduced the risk of thrombosis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Head and neck cancer patients undergoing tumor resection and microsurgical reconstruction were randomized 1:1 to RIPC or sham intervention. RIPC was administered intraoperatively with an inflatable tourniquet by four cycles of 5-min upper extremity occlusion and 5-min reperfusion. The primary endpoint was collagen-induced platelet aggregation measured with Multiplate as area-under-the-curve on the first postoperative day. Secondary endpoints were markers of primary hemostasis, secondary hemostasis, and fibrinolysis. Clinical data on thromboembolic and bleeding complications were prospectively collected at 30-day follow-up. An intention-to-treat analysis was performed.

RESULTS: Sixty patients were randomized to RIPC (n = 30) or sham intervention (n = 30). No patients were lost to follow-up. The relative mean [95% confidence interval] collagen-induced platelet aggregation was 1.26 [1.11;1.40] in the RIPC group and 1.17 [1.07;1.27] in the sham group on the first postoperative day reported as ratios compared with baseline (P = 0.30). Median (interquartile range) 50% fibrin clot lysis time was 517 (417-660) sec in the RIPC group and 614 (468-779) sec in the sham group (P = 0.25). The postoperative pulmonary embolism rate did not differ between groups (P = 1.0).

CONCLUSIONS: RIPC did not influence hemostasis and fibrinolysis in head and neck cancer patients undergoing surgery. RIPC did not reduce the rate of thromboembolic complications.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2019

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