Anabolic Steroid Use and Longitudinal, Radial, and Circumferential Cardiac Motion

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Abstract

Purpose

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

Methods

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.

Results

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).

Conclusions

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

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