Cardiac tissue doppler in steroid users

Anne Krieg*, J. Scharhag, T. Albers, W. Kindermann, A. Urhausen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-643
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Anabolic steroids
  • Cardiac function
  • Echocardiography
  • Strength training
  • Tissue Doppler imaging


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