Randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q, therapy in class II and III systolic heart failure

Heart Lung Circ. 2003;12(3):135-41. doi: 10.1046/j.1443-9506.2003.00189.x.


Background: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplementation has been reported to improve symptoms of heart failure and quality of life, and to reduce hospitalisation. Most prior trials have been open-label and in some, only 50% of patients took angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI).

Aim: To determine the effects of CoQ10 in patients with a New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class II or III heart failure due to ischaemic or dilated cardiomyopathy who have been treated with ACEI but not beta-blockers.

Methods: Thirty-nine patients in NYHA Class II or III heart failure were randomised in ad ouble-blind, placebo-controlled study with 150 mg/day of oral CoQ10 or placebo.

Results: Thirty-five patients completed the trial. After 3 months of therapy, the NYHA class in the CoQ10 group (n = 17) showed a significant improvement of 0.5 class compared with the placebo (n = 18) (P = 0.01). Specific Activities Scale class showed a significant (P = 0.004) improvement in the CoQ10 group, but no change in the placebo group. The C-min walk-test distance showed a significant (P = 0.047) increase in the CoQ10 group with no change in the placebo group (between-group difference P = 0.29). For the Naughton exercise test times the difference in increase in exercise time approached significance in favour of the CoQ10 group (P = 0.056). There was a correlation between the increase in exercise time and the increase in serum CoQ10 level (P = 0.024). There was a threefold increase in the CoQ10 level in the treated group (0.7 +/- 0.4 to 2.1+/- 0.3 microg/mL), but no change in the placebo group.

Conclusions: This pilot study accords with published data suggesting that CoQ10 therapy improves cardiac functional status in patients with moderately severe dilated cardiomyopathy receiving maximal non beta-blocker therapy. Future multicentre studies with larger numbers are indicated.