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Lancet. 1979 Nov 24;2(8152):1120-3.

Hepatic angiosarcoma associated with androgenic-anabolic steroids.


A retrospective epidemiological study of deaths from hepatic angiosarcoma (HAS) in the U.S. showed that during 1964--74 there were 168 such cases, of which 37 (22%) were associated with previously known causes (vinyl chloride, 'Thorotrast', and inorganic arsenic) and 4 (3.1%) of the remaining 131 cases with the use of androgenic-anabolic steroids. It is suggested that the long-term use of androgenic-anabolic steroids is the fourth cause of HAS, the majority of cases still being of unknown aetiology. Moreover, the presented cases serve as a link in a spectrum of hepatic disorders recently recognised to be caused by environmental agents such as vinyl chloride, arsenic, and thorotrast, and by contraceptive and anabolic steroids. Similar precursor stages, usually not recognised by clinical laboratory tests and consisting of areas of hyperplasia of hepatocytes and sinusoidal cells and sinusoidal dilatation, lead potentially to hepatic adenoma, carcinoma, peliosis, and angiosarcoma.

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