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Arq Bras Cardiol. 2010 Dec;95(6):720-5. Epub 2010 Nov 12.

Electrocardiographic profile and muscle glycogen content of rats treated with nandrolone.

[Article in English, Portuguese, Spanish]

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Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba, Piracicaba, SP, Brasil.



We considered both the indiscriminate use of steroids by top athletes and by physically active individuals.


To evaluate the effects of nandrolone decanoate on the electrocardiographic profile, glycogen content and total-protein profile of skeletal and cardiac muscles, as well as the plasma albumin concentrations.


The drug was administered subcutaneously, at a concentration of 5 mg/kg, twice a week for three weeks, to animals in the treated group. Once a week, the rats were anesthetized with sodium pentobarbital (50 mg/kg, ip) and they underwent an electrocardiogram (ECG). After the trial period, samples of the cardiac muscle (left ventricle - LV), soleus muscle (S), white gastrocnemius muscle (WG), red gastrocnemius muscle (RG), pectoral muscle (P), intercostal muscle (IC) and diaphragm muscle (D) were promptly collected and analyzed. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) and then a Tukey test (p>0.05) were carried out to assess the data (mean ┬▒ sem).


There were changes in the following parameters of rats in the treated group: QRS interval, QTc interval and heart rate, characterized by an increase in these parameters, with the peak being reached in the period between the pre-treatment week and the first week. There was an increase of 127% in glycogen reserves in the LV. In relation to the total-protein amount, the significant difference was found in S, RG and D. As for the hematocrit and biochemical profile, it was possible to notice an increase in the percentage of erythrocytes.


The study shows that major cardiac changes are triggered at an early stage, which indicates a hierarchy in the sequence of changes that compromise the homeostasis of the body.

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