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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Apr;44(4):583-90. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182358cb0.

Anabolic steroid use and longitudinal, radial, and circumferential cardiac motion.

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Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom.



The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of anabolic steroid (AS) use on cardiac structure and function and cardiovascular risk factors.


We recruited 47 strength-trained individuals (male = 46, female = 1), with 28 self-reporting regular AS use and 19 self-reporting never taking AS. Participants underwent assessment of body composition, lipid profiles, blood pressure, 12-lead ECG, and a comprehensive echocardiographic examination incorporating speckle tracking of longitudinal, radial, and circumferential left ventricular (LV) motion. A subgroup of AS users (n = 4) were tested during periods of AS use and abstinence.


AS users were heavier (96 ± 15 vs 81 ± 9 kg, P < 0.05), had higher LDL (3.68 ± 0.47 vs 2.41 ± 0.49 mmol·L⁻¹, P < 0.05), and had higher resting HR (79 ± 12 vs 64 ± 13 beats·min⁻¹), although blood pressures did not differ significantly between groups. In AS, LV wall thickness and mass were significantly greater (12 ± 2 vs 11 ± 1 mm and 280 ± 60 vs 231 ± 44 g, respectively, P < 0.05), whereas ejection fractions and peak longitudinal strain ([Latin Small Letter Open E]) were significantly lower (58% ± 8% vs 63% ± 6% and -14.6% ± 2.3% vs -16.9% ± 2.2%, P < 0.05). Indices of global diastolic function were reduced in AS users (E/A, E'/A'). Some diastolic strain rates (ESR and ASR) were altered in AS users. The E/A SR ratio was reduced in the longitudinal plane as well as in the circumferential and radial plane at the basal level (P < 0.05). Basal LV E/A rotation rate was also decreased in AS users (P < 0.05).


AS use is associated with alterations in cardiac structure and function that, allied to poor lipid profiles, represent an increased cardiovascular risk profile.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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