Sudden cardiac death during anabolic steroid abuse: morphologic and toxicologic findings in two fatal cases of bodybuilders

Int J Legal Med. 2007 Jan;121(1):48-53. doi: 10.1007/s00414-005-0055-9. Epub 2005 Nov 15.


We report two cases of sudden cardiac death (SCD) involving previously healthy bodybuilders who were chronic androgenic-anabolic steroids users. In both instances, autopsies, histology of the organs, and toxicologic screening were performed. Our findings support an emerging consensus that the effects of vigorous weight training, combined with anabolic steroid use and increased androgen sensitivity, may predispose these young men to myocardial injury and even SCD.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anabolic Agents / poisoning*
  • Autopsy / methods*
  • Causality
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / pathology
  • Doping in Sports
  • Forensic Toxicology / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Substance Abuse Detection
  • Weight Lifting*


  • Anabolic Agents