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Semin Liver Dis. 1981 May;1(2):116-28.

Hepatic lesions caused by anabolic and contraceptive steroids.



Many hepatic lesions, ranging from subcellular alterations to malignant tumors, have been attributed to the use of anabolic steroids (AS) and contraceptive steroids (CS). These lesions that have been attributed to AS and CS are discussed with focus on the following: biochemical changes; subcellular alterations; intrahepatic cholestasis; vascular complications (sinusoidal dilatation, peliosis hepatitis, Budd-Chiari syndrome); hyperplasia and neoplasia (diffuse hyperplasia, nodular transformation, focal nodular hyperplasia, hepatocellular adenoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and miscellaneous malignant tumors); and miscellaneous effects (effects of preexisting liver disease, cholelithiasis, and pancreatitis). OCs have a number of physiologic effects on the liver. These include decreased bile flow, diminished secretion of organic anions, and decreased synthesis and secretion of bile acids. Retention of bromosulfophthalein has been noted with AS during late pregnancy and in the puerperium. It is well established that the CS can lead to elevations of serum ceruloplasmin and copper levels. Subcellular alterations have been reported in both humans and rats on AS or women on CS and involve multiple organelles of the several systems of the liver. Both AS and CS have been implicated in intrahepatic cholestasis. Jaundice usually develops after 2-5 months of therapy with AS or after 3 months of OC use. The lesions attributed to CS and AS can involve any of the systems of the liver. At times more than 1 system is affected simultaneously. Most of the steroid related lesions resemble similar ones caused by other etiologies. Some, such as peliosis hepatitis, are rarely related to other etiologies, but others can be termed steroid specific. A number of diseases associated with the CS or AS also occur in pregnancy. Acute fatty metamorphosis of pregnancy and the periportal hemorrhagic necrosis characteristic of eclampsia have not been reported in patients on CS. Spontaneous rupture of the liver during pregnancy has not been attributed to the CS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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