Repetitive application of remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) as a non-invasive treatment option: study protocol for a randomised controlled clinical trial


The best medical treatment (BMT) for most patients with early stage of peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) is often limited to gait training and pharmacological therapy besides endovascular surgery. The application of remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) has been described as a promising experimental strategy for the improvement of therapeutic outcome in cardiovascular disease but has not proven beneficial effects in clinical practice and treatment of PAOD yet.


Here we describe a prospective, randomized trial for the evaluation of possible effects of repeated application of RIC in patients with PAOD. This monocentric study will enrol 200 participants distributed to an intervention group receiving RIC + BMT and a control group only receiving BMT for four weeks. Patients are at least 18 years of age and have diagnosed PAOD Fontaine stage II b. Pain-free and total walking distance will be measured via treadmill test (primary endpoints). In addition, ankle-brachial index (ABI) and quality of life (QoL) will be assessed using the SF-36 and VascuQoL-6 questionnaire. Moreover, evaluation of markers for atherosclerosis, angiogenic profiling and mononuclear cell characterization will be performed using biochemical assays, proteome profiling arrays and flow cytometry (secondary endpoints).


Our prospective, randomized monocentric trial is the first of its kind to analyse the effects of chronic and repetitive treatment with RIC in patients with PAOD and might provide important novel information on the molecular mechanisms associated with RIC in PAOD patients.

Trial registration

Prospectively registered in the German Clinical Trials Register (Deutsche Register Klinischer Studien) Registration number: DRKS00025735; Date of registration: 01.07.2021.


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