Cardiac Effects of Anabolic Steroids: Hypertrophy, Ischemia and Electrical Remodelling as Potential Triggers of Sudden Death
J. H.M. Nascimento and E. Medei
Affiliation: Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho - CCS–Bloco G–UFRJ, 21941-902 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Keywords: Anabolic steroid, hypertrophy, sudden cardiac death, myocardial ischemia, electrical remodelling, dysautonomia, Anabolic-androgenic steroids, AAS, synthetic, testosterone derivatives, anabolic activity, androgenic activity, AAS abuse, athletes, atherogenic, thrombogenic, spastic effects
Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are synthetic testosterone derivatives developed to maximise anabolic activity and minimise androgenic activity. AAS abuse is widespread among both athletes and non-athletes at fitness centres and is becoming a public health issue. In addition to their atherogenic, thrombogenic and spastic effects, AAS have direct cardiotoxic effects by causing hypertrophy, electrical and structural remodelling, and contractile dysfunction and by increasing the susceptibility to ischemic injuries. All of these factors contribute to an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.
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