Ubiquinol is a fundamental component of cellular metabolism. Low ubiquinol levels have been associated with mortality. This was a substudy of a randomized trial in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. We drew blood before and after surgery. Ubiquinol or placebo was added to peripheral blood mononuclear cells for oxygen consumption (OCR) measurements. In vivo ubiquinol levels were lower postsurgery compared to presurgery (0.16 μmol/L [quartiles: 0.02-0.39], P = .01), although the difference disappeared when adjusting for hemoglobin levels (P = .30). There was no difference in presurgical basal (1.0 mL/min/mg [95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.9 to 2.2], P = .08) and maximal (0.5 mL/min/mg [95% CI: -4.3 to 7.3], P = .56) OCR in cells receiving ubiquinol or placebo. There was a difference in postsurgical basal (1.1 mL/min/mg [95% CI: 0.9-1.6], P < .001) and maximal (4.2 mL/min/mg [95% CI: 0.3-7.0], P = .01) OCR between the groups. We found no association between ubiquinol and OCR levels (all P > .05).
Keywords: cardiac surgery; coenzyme q10; coronary artery bypass; oxygen consumption; ubiquinol.