Ischemic conditioning refers to an endogenous form of cardioprotection that can be elicited by brief ischemic cycles and reperfusion to the heart or an organ away from the heart. This study aims to assess the benefits and harms of ischemic conditioning in people undergoing invasive procedures.

This systematic review and meta-analysis included 89 randomized controlled comparisons of ischemic conditioning on clinical outcomes. The summary estimates for all-cause mortality and other pre-specified clinical outcomes were calculated. The primary outcome of the study was all-cause mortality, along with secondary outcomes examined by using the GRADE assessment tool, meta-regression and Cochran C test, and the Copenhagen Trial Unit method.

The findings suggested that there was no significant association between ischemic conditioning and all-cause mortality (risk ratio 0.96), regardless of the clinical setting or the particular intervention-related characteristics. Further analysis indicated that ischemic conditioning might reduce the rates of secondary outcomes, including stroke (RR 0.72) and acute kidney injury (0.83). However, the benefits of ischemic conditioning were confined to non-surgical settings and mild episodes of acute kidney injury only.

The research concluded that ischemic conditioning did not have a statistically significant impact on the risk of death. In some studies, ischemic conditioning was found to beneficial for secondary outcomes like stroke and acute kidney injury.