Background: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10; also called ubiquinone) is an antioxidant that has been postulated to improve functional status in congestive heart failure (CHF). Several randomised controlled trials have examined the effects of CoQ10 on CHF with inconclusive results.
Objective: The objective of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the impact of CoQ10 supplementation on the ejection fraction (EF) and New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional classification in patients with CHF.
Design: A systematic review of the literature was conducted by using databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and manual examination of references from selected studies. Studies included were randomised controlled trials of CoQ10 supplementation that reported the EF or NYHA functional class as a primary outcome. Information on participant characteristics, trial design and duration, treatment, dose, control, EF, and NYHA classification were extracted by using a standardised protocol.
Results: Supplementation with CoQ10 resulted in a pooled mean net change of 3.67% (95% CI: 1.60%, 5.74%) in the EF and 20.30 (95% CI: 20.66, 0.06) in the NYHA functional class. Subgroup analyses showed significant improvement in EF for crossover trials, trials with treatment duration #12 wk in length, studies published before 1994, and studies with a dose #100 mg CoQ10/d and in patients with less severe CHF. These subgroup analyses should be interpreted cautiously because of the small number of studies and patients included in each subgroup.
Conclusions: Pooled analyses of available randomised controlled trials suggest that CoQ10 may improve the EF in patients with CHF. Additional well-designed studies that include more diverse populations are needed.
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