The Cardiac Toxicity of Anabolic Steroids

The Cardiac Toxicity of Anabolic Steroids / Mack Lee Sullivan, Charles M. Martinez, Paul Gennis, E. John Gallagher. - (Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases 41 (1998) 1 (July/August); p. 1-15)

  • PMID: 9717856
  • DOI: 10.1016/s0033-0620(98)80019-4


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 document


1 July 1998
Gallagher, E. John
Gennis, Paul
Martinez, Charles M.
Sullivan, Mack Lee
United States of America
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Jacobi Medical Center
Montefiore Medical Center
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
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Cardiovascular diseases
Health effects
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Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
16 June 2020
Date of last modification
5 August 2020
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