Cardiogenic shock complicating myocardial infarction in a doped athlete

Acute Card Care. 2009;11(4):250-1. doi: 10.1080/17482940902842564.


Abuse of doping agents may pose a higher risk for heart disease including acute myocardial infarction. We report the case of a 50-year-old body-builder Caucasian man with a long-standing abuse of nandrolone and erythropoietin that developed a ventricular septal defect following acute myocardial infarction. This mechanical complication led to cardiogenic shock ultimately treated with the implantation of a circulatory support by means of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The patient subsequently underwent orthotopic heart transplantation. The association of intense isometric exercise, abuse of erythropoietin and nandrolone is likely to have predisposed to coronary thrombus formation and acute myocardial infarction, as the patient presented no traditional cardiovascular risk factors.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / adverse effects
  • Doping in Sports*
  • Erythropoietin / adverse effects
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / etiology
  • Heart Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / chemically induced*
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications
  • Myocardial Infarction / surgery
  • Nandrolone / adverse effects
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / etiology*
  • Weight Lifting* / injuries


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Erythropoietin
  • Nandrolone