Heart Muscle Damage

Anabolic/androgenic steroid abuse is suspected of producing direct damage to the heart muscle in some cases. Studies exposing heart cell cultures to AAS have reported reduced contractile activity, increased cell fragility, and reduced cellular (mitochondrial) activity, providing some support for a possible direct toxic effect to the heart muscle. Furthermore, a number of case reports have found such pathologies as myocardial fibrosis (scar tissue buildup in the heart), myocardial inflammation (inflammation of heart tissue), cardiac steatosis (accumulation of triglycerides inside heart cells), and myocardial necrosis (death of heart tissue) in long- term steroid abusers.

A direct link between drug abuse and cardiac pathologies is assumed in these cases, but cannot be proven given the slow nature in which these cardiac pathologies develop, and the influence many other factors (such as diet, exercise, lifestyle, and genetics) can have on them. Individuals remain cautioned about the possibility of cardiac muscle damage with long-term steroid abuse.

References

Wlliam Llewellyn (2011) - Anabolics

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