2017 Volume 57 Issue 11 Pages 590-600
Ischemic tolerance is an endogenous neuroprotective phenomenon induced by sublethal ischemia. Ischemic preconditioning (IPC), the first discovered form of ischemic tolerance, is widely seen in many species and in various organs including the brain and the spinal cord. Ischemic tolerance of the spinal cord is less familiar among neurosurgeons, although it has been reported from the viewpoint of preventing ischemic spinal cord injury during aortic surgery. It is important for neurosurgeons to have opportunities to see patients with spinal cord ischemia, and to understand ischemic tolerance of the spinal cord as well as the brain. IPC has a strong neuroprotective effect in animal models of ischemia; however, clinical application of IPC for ischemic brain and spinal diseases is difficult because they cannot be predicted. In addition, one drawback of preconditioning stimuli is that they are also capable of producing injury with only minor changes to their intensity or duration. Numerous methods to induce ischemic tolerance have been discovered that vary in their timing and the site at which short-term ischemia occurs. These methods include ischemic postconditioning (IPoC), remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC), remote ischemic perconditioning (RIPerC) and remote ischemic postconditioning (RIPoC), which has had a great impact on clinical approaches to treatment of ischemic brain and spinal cord injury. Especially RIPerC and RIPoC to induce spinal cord tolerance are considered clinically useful, however the evidence supporting these methods is currently insufficient; further experimental or clinical research in this area is thus necessary.