Metabolism of anabolic androgenic steroids

Clin Chem. 1996 Jul;42(7):1001-20.


Anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) are misused to a high extent in sports by athletes to improve their physical performance. Sports federations consider the use of these drugs in sports as doping. The misuse of AAS is controlled by detection of the parent AAS (when excreted into urine) and (or) their metabolites in urine of athletes. I present a review of the metabolism of AAS. Testosterone is the principal androgenic steroid and its metabolism is compared with that of AAS. The review is divided into two parts: the general metabolism of AAS, which is separated into phase I and phase II metabolism and includes a systematic discussion of metabolic changes in the steroid molecule according to the regions (A-D rings), and the specific metabolism of AAS, which presents the metabolism of 26 AAS in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / metabolism*
  • Anabolic Agents / urine
  • Cyclization
  • Doping in Sports*
  • Glucuronates / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydroxylation
  • Sulfates / metabolism
  • Testosterone / metabolism


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Glucuronates
  • Sulfates
  • Testosterone