The cardiac toxicity of anabolic steroids

M. L. Sullivan, C. M. Martinez, P. Gennis, E. J. Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

273 Scopus citations

Abstract

Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of testosterone that were developed as adjunct therapy for a variety of medical conditions. Today they are most commonly used to enhance athletic performance and muscular development. Both illicit and medically indicated anabolic steroid use have been temporally associated with many subsequent defects within each of the body systems. Testosterone is the preferred ligand of the human androgen receptor in the myocardium and directly modulates transcription, translation, and enzyme function. Consequent alterations of cellular pathology and organ physiology are similar to those seen with heart failure and cardiomyopathy. Hypertension, ventricular remodeling, myocardial ischemia, and sudden cardiac death have each been temporally and causally associated with anabolic steroid use in humans. These effects persist long after use has been discontinued and have significant impact on subsequent morbidity and mortality. The mechanisms of cardiac disease as a result of anabolic steroid use are discussed in this review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalProgress in Cardiovascular Diseases
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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