Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in patients with cardiac failure: a meta-analysis of clinical trials

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2017 Jul 24;17(1):196. doi: 10.1186/s12872-017-0628-9.


Background: The therapeutic efficacy of coenzyme Q10 on patients with cardiac failure remains controversial. We pooled previous clinical studies to re-evaluate the efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in patients with cardiac failure.

Methods: We searched PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and Clinical Trials.gov databases for controlled trials. The endpoints were death, left heart ejection fraction, exercise capacity, and New York Heart Association (NYHA) cardiac function classification after treatment. The pooled risk ratios (RRs) and standardized mean difference (SMD) were used to assess the efficacy of coenzyme Q10.

Results: A total of 14 RCTs with 2149 patients met the inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis. Coenzyme Q10 decreased the mortality compared with placebo (RR = 0.69; 95% CI = 0.50-0.95; P = 0.02; I 2 = 0%). A greater improvement in exercise capacity was established in patients who used coenzyme Q10 than in those who used placebo (SMD = 0.62; 95% CI = 0.02-0.30; P = 0.04; I 2 = 54%). No significant difference was observed in the endpoints of left heart ejection fraction between patients who received coenzyme Q10 and the patients in whom placebo was administered (SMD = 0.62; 95% CI = 0.02-1.12; P = 0.04; I 2 = 75%). The two types of treatment resulted in obtaining similar NYHA classification results (SMD = -0.70; 95% CI = -1.92-0.51; P = 0.26; I 2 = 89%).

Conclusion: Patients with heart failure who used coenzyme Q10 had lower mortality and a higher exercise capacity improvement than the placebo-treated patients with heart failure. No significant differences between the efficacy of the administration of coenzyme Q10 and placebo in the endpoints of left heart ejection fraction and NYHA classification were observed.

Keywords: Cardiac failure; Coenzyme Q10; Exercise capacity; Placebo.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Agents / adverse effects
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Exercise Tolerance / drug effects
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Recovery of Function
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke Volume / drug effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ubiquinone / adverse effects
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / therapeutic use
  • Ventricular Function, Left / drug effects


  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10