Liver pathology associated with the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids

Liver. 1992 Apr;12(2):73-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0676.1992.tb00560.x.


This review examines the liver-damaging side effects of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). It seems that AAS can cause development of peliosis hepatis, subcellular changes of hepatocytes, hepatocellular hyperplasia and hepatocellular adenomas. On the other hand, it has not been convincingly proved that AAS can cause development of hepatocellular carcinomas when used in the usual therapeutic doses. Tumours reported as hepatocellular carcinomas caused by AAS seems to be hyperplastic lesions of a benign nature able to regress with withdrawal of the putative agent. The effects of untraditional combinations and high-dose AAS are not yet known, leaving the possibility of a carcinogenic effect in those cases.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Animals
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury*
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia / chemically induced
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic


  • Anabolic Agents