Left ventricular size and function in body builders using anabolic steroids

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1985 Dec;17(6):701-4. doi: 10.1249/00005768-198512000-00014.


Although controversial, there is evidence to support a direct effect of improved skeletal muscle strength and mass by anabolic steroids in weight-training athletes. The influence of these drugs on the myocardial hypertrophy demonstrated by these individuals is unknown. Echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular dimensions and function were evaluated in 15 steroid-using body builders and compared to body builders not taking these drugs as well as an inactive control group. Significant increase in left ventricular posterior wall (LVPW) and ventricular septal (VS) thickness as well as an elevated VS/LVPW ratio were noted in both weight-lifting groups compared to controls. There were no differences, however, between the weight lifters with and without anabolic steroid use in any of the measurements. These data indicate no potentiating effects of these drugs on the myocardial hypertrophy observed with weight training.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anabolic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Body Weight
  • Echocardiography
  • Heart / anatomy & histology
  • Heart / drug effects*
  • Heart / physiology
  • Heart Ventricles / anatomy & histology
  • Heart Ventricles / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sports*
  • Ventricular Function
  • Weight Lifting*


  • Anabolic Agents