With aging of the population, increasing numbers of elderly patients are presenting for cardiac surgery. However, the results in the elderly are inferior to those in the young. A likely contributing factor is an age-related reduction in cellular energy production in the myocardium during surgery, which is known to induce aerobic and ischemic stress. The lipophilic antioxidant and mitochondrial respiratory chain redox coupler, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), has the potential to improve energy production in mitochondria by bypassing defective components in the respiratory chain as well as by reducing the effects of oxidative stress. We hypothesized that CoQ10 pretreatment prior to stress could improve the recovery of the myocardium after stress.
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