Int J Sports Med 2007; 28(8): 638-643
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-964848
Physiology & Biochemistry

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Cardiac Tissue Doppler in Steroid Users

A. Krieg1 , J. Scharhag1 , T. Albers1 , W. Kindermann1 , A. Urhausen2
  • 1Institute of Sports and Preventive Medicine, University of Saarland, Saarbruecken, Germany
  • 2Center of the Locomotor System, Sports Medicine and Prevention, Hospital Center of Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision June 7, 2006

Publication Date:
01 June 2007 (online)


Anabolic steroids cause a variety of side effects, among them a slight concentric left ventricular hypertrophy. The objective of the present study was to clarify if they also induce alterations in left ventricular function. 14 male bodybuilders with substantial intake of anabolic steroids (users) were examined by standard echocardiography and cardiac tissue Doppler imaging. They were compared to 11 steroid-free strength athletes (non-users) and 15 sedentary control subjects. Users showed an increased left ventricular muscle mass index. The ratio of peak transmitral blood flow velocities during early diastolic filling and atrial contraction did not differ between groups (users: 1.4 ± 0.3; non-users: 1.7 ± 0.5; controls: 1.4 ± 0.4). In contrast an analogous tissue Doppler parameter, the ratio of myocardial velocities during early and late ventricular filling in the basal septum, was significantly lower in users (1.2 ± 0.4) when compared to non-users (1.6 ± 0.5) or controls (1.6 ± 0.6). The velocity gradient during myocardial E-wave in the posterior wall showed significantly lower values in users (3.8 ± 1.3 1/s) as compared to controls (5.8 ± 2.5 1/s). There were no differences in systolic function. Summarizing strength athletes abusing anabolic steroids show negative alterations in diastolic function.


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MD Anne Krieg

University of Saarland
Institute of Sports and Preventive Medicine
University Campus

Building 39.1

66123 Saarbruecken