Anabolic steroids, acute myocardial infarction and polycythemia: a case report and review of the literature.

Published

Journal Article (Review)

The association between testosterone-replacement therapy and cardiovascular risk remains unclear with most reports suggesting a neutral or possibly beneficial effect of the hormone in men and women. However, several cardiovascular complications including hypertension, cardiomyopathy, stroke, pulmonary embolism, fatal and nonfatal arrhythmias, and myocardial infarction have been reported with supraphysiologic doses of anabolic steroids. We report a case of an acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction in a patient with traditional cardiac risk factors using supraphysiologic doses of supplemental, intramuscular testosterone. In addition, this patient also had polycythemia, likely secondary to high-dose testosterone. The patient underwent successful percutaneous intervention of the right coronary artery. Phlebotomy was used to treat the polycythemia acutely. We suggest that the chronic and recent "stacked" use of intramuscular testosterone as well as the resultant polycythemia and likely increased plasma viscosity may have been contributing factors to this cardiovascular event, in addition to traditional coronary risk factors. Physicians and patients should be aware of the clinical consequences of anabolic steroid abuse.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stergiopoulos, K; Brennan, JJ; Mathews, R; Setaro, JF; Kort, S

Published Date

  • January 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 4 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1475 - 1480

PubMed ID

  • 19337562

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19337562

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1178-2048

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1176-6344

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2147/vhrm.s4261

Language

  • eng