Myocardial infarction is the leading cause of mortality in Western societies with annual expenditures of $431.8 billion spent on coronary artery disease in man. Therapeutics to combat infarction from myocardial injury, based on studies of ischemic preconditioning (IPC), are currently in progress. Hence, this review provides an update on IPC, including general and molecular mechanisms responsible for IPC and the effects of IPC in models of aging or disease. A summary of therapeutics shown to possess efficacy in preclinical and clinical trials and future directions of studies regarding cardiac IPC are also discussed.
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