Coenzyme Q10 protects ischemic myocardium in an open-chest swine model

D. Atar, S. A. Mortensen, H. Flachs, W. R. Herzog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Myocardial stunning, defined as a reversible decrease in contractility after ischemia and reperfusion, may be a manifestation of reperfusion injury caused by free oxygen radical damage. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that pretreatment with coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone), believed to act as a free radical scavenger, reduces myocardial stunning in a porcine model. Twelve swine were randomized to receive either oral supplementation with coenzyme Q10 or placebo for 20 days. A normothermic open-chest model was used with short occlusion (8 min) of the distal left descending coronary artery followed by reperfusion. Regional contractile function was measured with epicardial Doppler crystals in ischemic and nonischemic segments by measuring thickening fraction of the left ventricular wall during systole. Stunning time was defined as the elapsed time of reduced contractility until return to baseline. Coenzyme Q10 concentrations were measured in blood and homogenized myocardial tissue by high performance liquid chromatography. Plasma levels of reduced coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) were higher in swine pretreated with the experimental medication as compared to placebo (mean 0.45 mg/l versus 0.11 mg/l, respectively). Myocardial tissue concentrations, however, did not show any changes (mean 0.79 μg/mg dry weight versus 0.74 μg/mg). Stunning time was significantly reduced in coenzyme Q10 pretreated animals (13.7±7.7 min versus 32.8±3.1 min, P < 0.01). In conclusion, chronic pretreatment with coenzyme Q10 protects ischemic myocardium in an open-chest swine model. The beneficial effect of coenzyme Q10 on myocardial stunning may be due to protection from free radical mediated reperfusion injury. This protective effect seems to be generated by a humoral rather than intracellular mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S103-S111
JournalThe Clinical Investigator
Issue number8 Supplement
StatePublished - Aug 1 1993


  • Animal model
  • Coenzyme Q
  • Myocardial contractility
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Reperfusion injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Coenzyme Q10 protects ischemic myocardium in an open-chest swine model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this