Anabolic steroid-induced hepatotoxicity: is it overstated? - AnabolicMinds.com

Anabolic steroid-induced hepatotoxicity: is it overstated?

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    Anabolic steroid-induced hepatotoxicity: is it overstated?


    Anabolic steroid-induced hepatotoxicity: is it overstated?

    Abstract
    OBJECTIVE: There have been numerous reports of hepatic dysfunction secondary to anabolic steroid use based on elevated levels of serum aminotransferases. This study was conducted to distinguish between serum aminotransaminase elevations secondary to intense resistance training and anabolic steroid-induced hepatotoxicity in elite bodybuilders.

    DESIGN: This was a case-control study of serum chemistry profiles from bodybuilders using and not using anabolic steroids with comparisons to a cohort of medical students and patients with hepatitis.

    PARTICIPANTS: The participants were bodybuilders taking self-directed regimens of anabolic steroids (n = 15) and bodybuilders not taking steroids (n = 10). Blood chemistry profiles from patients with viral hepatitis (n = 49) and exercising and nonexercising medical students (592) were used as controls.

    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The focus in blood chemistry profiles was aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT), and creatine kinase (CK) levels.

    RESULTS: In both groups of bodybuilders, CK, AST, and ALT were elevated, whereas GGT remained in the normal range. In contrast, patients with hepatitis had elevations of all three enzymes: ALT, AST, and GGT. Creatine kinase (CK) was elevated in all exercising groups. Patients with hepatitis were the only group in which a correlation was found between aminotransferases and GGT.

    CONCLUSION: Prior reports of anabolic steroid-induced hepatotoxicity based on elevated aminotransferase levels may have been overstated, because no exercising subjects, including steroid users, demonstrated hepatic dysfunction based on GGT levels. Such reports may have misled the medical community to emphasize steroid-induced hepatotoxicity when interpreting elevated aminotransferase levels and disregard muscle damage. For these reasons, when evaluating hepatic function in cases of anabolic steroid therapy or abuse, CK and GGT levels should be considered in addition to ALT and AST levels as essential elements of the assessment.
    "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." - Socrates

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    Evaluation of aminotransferase elevations in a bodybuilder using anabolic steroids: hepatitis or rhabdomyolysis?

    The use of anabolic steroids among competitive athletes, particularly bodybuilders, is widespread. Numerous reports have noted "hepatic" dysfunction secondary to anabolic steroid use based on elevated serum aminotransferase levels. The authors' objective was to assess whether primary care physicians accurately distinguish between anabolic steroid-induced hepatotoxicity and serum aminotransferase elevations that are secondary to acute rhabdomyolysis resulting from intense resistance training. Surveys were sent to physicians listed as practicing family medicine or sports medicine in the yellow pages of seven metropolitan areas. Physicians were asked to provide a differential diagnosis for a 28-year-old, anabolic steroid-using male bodybuilder with an abnormal serum chemistry profile. The blood chemistries showed elevated aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and creatine kinase (CK) levels, and normal gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) levels. In the physician survey (n = 84 responses), 56% failed to mention muscle damage or muscle disease as a potential diagnosis, despite the markedly elevated CK level of the patient. Sixty-three percent indicated liver disease as their primary diagnosis despite normal GGT levels. Prior reports of anabolic steroid-induced hepatotoxicity that were based on aminotransferase elevations may have overstated the role of anabolic steroids. Correspondingly, the medical community may have been led to emphasize anabolic steroid-induced hepatotoxicity and disregard muscle damage when interpreting elevated aminotransferase levels. Therefore, when evaluating enzyme elevations in patients who use anabolic steroids, physicians should consider the CK and GGT levels as essential elements in distinguishing muscle damage from liver damage.
    "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." - Socrates

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    So it seems that when we get bloods drawn we should make sure to also get GGT done as the AST/ALT ratios can be misleading on their own.
    "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." - Socrates

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