Thirty patients scheduled for elective coronary artery bypass graft surgery were randomly assigned to receive 150 - 180 mg per day of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) or no CoQ10 (control group) for 7 to 10 days preoperatively. Compared with the control group, the CoQ10 group had significantly fewer reperfusion arrhythmias, had a significantly lower total inotropic requirement, required significantly less mediastinal drainage, required significantly fewer blood transfusions (mean, 630 ml vs. 990 ml; p = 0.05) and other blood products, and had a shorter mean length of hospital stay (7.1 days vs. 10.3 days; 31% decrease; p = 0.02).
Comment by Alan Gaby, MD
Cardiopulmonary bypass, which occurs during coronary artery bypass graft surgery, is known to induce oxidative stress and to decrease antioxidant levels. CoQ10 functions as an antioxidant and also as an important cofactor for energy production. The results of the present study indicate that supplementation with CoQ10 can improve clinical outcome in patients undergoing coronary-artery bypass graft surgery. The reduction the length of hospital stay and in the need for various medications and procedures would probably save at least $5,000 per patient.
Makhija N, Et. al. The role of oral coenzyme Q10 in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2008;22:832-839.
Reprinted with exclusive permission of Townsend Letter - June 2009.