Following approval in April 2020, The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute (HCI) has been undertaking a study in COVID-19 investigating the potential for Remote Conditioning (RIC) to reduce the severity of anti-inflammatory cytokines which are responsible for the so-called cytokine “storm” that occurs in COVID-19 patients. The study, titled ‘Can Remote Ischaemic Conditioning Reduce Inflammatory Markers in COVID-19 Patients – A Randomised Pilot Study,’ was initially approved at University College London Hospitals but has since been expanded to two additional sites in the UK, the Royal Free Hospital (London) and the Lister Hospital (Stevenage).
In further development, the HCI has forged strong collaborations with two leading teams in South Africa and Brazil to investigate in parallel the use of RIC in COVID-19 patients in their populations. Prof Andrei Sposito is the study lead at the University of Campinas, Brazil and Prof Mpiko Mpiko Ntsekhe is heading up the study at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Both South Africa and Brazil find themselves in the similar situation as the UK with extremely high cases of COVID-19 and subsequent deaths. It is the hope of all three study teams that by combining data from our shared protocols, we can develop a new method to reduce the heightened inflammatory response and halt the progression of COVID-19 in patients and reduce the severity of damage, with the ultimate aim of preventing deterioration of patients into intensive care.