A person with a history of anabolic steroid abuse may experience sudden death.
The typical patient is a young adult male.
Evidence for anabolic steroid abuse:
(1) bodybuilder physique
(2) testicular atrophy
(3) abnormal testosterone to epitestosterone ratio
(4) metabolites of anabolic steroids
Cause of death:
(1) concurrent drug abuse, especially stimulants (amphetamine, cocaine, etc)
(2) cardiac disease (left ventricular hypertrophy, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy)
(3) cerebral hemorrhage
(4) massive pulmonary embolism
(1) suicide (mood disorders can be a complication of anabolic steroid use)
(2) homicide (violent behavior can be a complication of anabolic steroid use)
The workup of a patient who abused anabolic studies and who has died suddenly should focus on:
(1) drug screen
(2) anabolic steroid testing
(3) careful examination of the heart and brain
(4) exclusion of suicide or homicide
To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.
Specialty: Clinical Laboratory, Toxicology