Anabolic Steroid Use and Aortic Dissection in Athletes: A Case Series

Anabolic Steroid Use and Aortic Dissection in Athletes : A Case Series / Aghigh Heydari, Atefeh Asadmobini, Feridoun Sabzi. - (Oman Medical Journal 35 (2020) 5 (30 September); p. 514-517)

  • PMID: 33083037
  • PMCID: PMC7568822
  • DOI: 10.5001/omj.2020.120


The use of anabolic steroids in supraphysiologic doses has grown in the last decade as doping drugs in athletes. The high dose of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) causes cardiomyopathy, hypertension, thrombosis, myocardial infarction (MI), weakness of connective tissue, and its sequelae such as tendon injury and aortic dissection. Dissection of the ascending aorta is an uncommon injury that has been recognized with increasing frequency in bodybuilders in recent years. It has been proposed that such cases commonly accompany the weakening of connective tissue and must be actively evaluated in the presence of anabolic steroid usage. We present a case series of isolated ascending aorta dissection in athletes who were bodybuilders. All cases were evaluated by transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and laboratory exams. These cases also served as a reminder of the risks of ascending aorta dissection with AAS, especially in strength athletes who place high demands on their musculoskeletal structures. The results of the current study suggested that anabolic steroid abuse may be associated with detrimental effects on the myocardium represented as cardiomyopathy or atherosclerotic changes in the coronary artery as MI. These findings also strongly suggest that anabolic steroid treatment predisposes the individual to aortic dissection, especially when the patients are exercised.

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Case report
Research / Study
30 September 2020
Asadmobini, Atefeh
Heydari, Aghigh
Sabzi, Feridoun
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Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
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Cardiovascular diseases
Health effects
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Scientific article
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Date generated
5 November 2020
Date of last modification
6 November 2020
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