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Volume 13 Supplement 4

Sepsis 2009

Nandrolone abuse aggravates septic shock


One million individuals in the United States alone are estimated to be current or past users of anabolic-androgenic steroid.


To investigate the effects of nandrolone, an anabolic-androgenic steroid, 108 6-week-old male BALB/c inbred mice were used (minimal lethal dose n = 30, high-dose vs. low-dose n = 24, screening surrogates n = 6, and surrogates n = 48). Mice were sacrificed at 0, 3 or 6 hours after septic shock induction. The serum levels of malondialdehyde, liver TNFα and spleen IFNγ in mice with septic shock were analyzed. The gene expression of insulin-like growth factor 1, insulin-like growth factor type 1 receptor and insulin-like growth factor binding proteins were also studied.


Nandrolone significantly increased serum malondialdehyde at 0, 3 and 6 hours (P = 0.004, 0.006 and 0.004), and liver TNFα at 0 and 6 hours (P = 0.04 and 0.016). It also increased the spleen IFNγ level at 0 and 6 hours (P = 0.031 and 0.01). Compared with 0 hours, the data indicated that nandrolone increases lung insulin-like growth factor type 1 receptor, insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1 and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 mRNA expression at 6 hours (P < 0.05). These indicated changes due to nandrolone.


Nandrolone abuse hastens mortality due to septic shock and increases serum malondialdehyde, liver TNFα, spleen IFNγ level and lung insulin-like growth factor type 1 receptor mRNA, as well as lung insulin-like growth factor binding proteins. Nandrolone abuse may aggravate septic shock.

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Correspondence to YF Hsu.

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Hsu, Y., Lin, C. & Chen, DR. Nandrolone abuse aggravates septic shock. Crit Care 13, P4 (2009).

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  • Steroid
  • mRNA Expression
  • Serum Level
  • Septic Shock
  • Emergency Medicine