To seek some specific biochemical markers of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) levels were determined in plasma and platelets from 19 exudative AMD patients and 19 age-matched controls. Lipid peroxidation was followed in plasma in vitro after the addition of a free radical initiator. Most patients had lower plasma CoQ10 content than most controls. Plasma from controls showed greater capacity to oppose the oxidative damage. These results support the concept that free radicals play a pathogenic role in AMD and that CoQ10 may have a protective effect.