Chapter 84 – Anabolic Steroid Effects on Bone in WomenJuly 10, Revised: Efect 19, Accepted: October 16, Published anabolic steroids effect on bones Osteoporotic fractures cause considerable morbidity and disability in both women and men. The current prospective study was designed to identify the effect of anabolic steroids in patients with osteoporotic fractures around the hip.
What is the effect of anabolic steroid on bone? - USMLE Forums
July 10, Revised: October 19, Accepted: October 16, Published online: Osteoporotic fractures cause considerable morbidity and disability in both women and men. The current prospective study was designed to identify the effect of anabolic steroids in patients with osteoporotic fractures around the hip.
Group 1 comprising of patients, was given Nandrolone 50 milligrams once a week for 5 weeks, along with mg of elemental calcium and 0. Group 2 comprising of patients was given only mg of elemental calcium and 0. In group 1 eight patients expired and 24 were lost to follow up, leaving a total of patients at the final follow up of 1 year; while in group 2 ten expired and 20 were lost to follow up leaving a total of 86 at final follow up.
The patients were evaluated at 3, 6 and 12 months for BMD, Katz index for activities of daily living and functional improvement. In Group 1 it was observed that the mean t-score improved from The mean Harris Hip Score was The patients of group 2 showed less marked improvement in their mean t-scores as well as the mean Harris hip score and the Katz index.
The current study suggests that the use of low dose anabolic steroids results in a significant gain in bone mass and improvement in quality of life in geriatric population, but comparative studies with a larger sample size and longer follow up are required to further support this observation.
International Journal of Orthopaedics ; 1 4: WHO has defined osteoporosis as a bone mineral density that is 2. It is a condition characterized by reduced bone density predisposing to fractures following trivial trauma. Unlike previously when it was considered to be a condition largely affecting females, today with prolonged life expectancy men are also at a significant risk[2,3].
The process of losing bone density begins early in life and continues into old age. With the advent of DEXA, bone mineral density measurement has gold standard of diagnosing osteoporosis. Studies have shown a direct relationship between bone mineral density and risk of fracture. Various treatment modalities have been advocated to control this major public health concern; the mechanism of their action being either by stimulating bone formation or by suppressing bone re-sorption.
Anabolic steroids have been found to have a dual mode of action. They act by both, preventing bone re-sorption by impeding the osteoclastic acitivity and stimulating bone formation through androgen receptors in bone. Reviewing the literature we realized that this aspect in the management of osteoporosis has been very little worked upon in recent times.
Hence, we decided to undertake this prospective study to evaluate the effect of anabolic steroids on patients with osteoporotic fractures of the hip.
The patients were randomly divided into two groups. Group one was treated with Nandrolone 50 milligrams once a week for five weeks, along with milligrams of elemental calcium and 0. Eight patients of the patients in group one expired and 24 were lost to follow up leaving a total of patients who were evaluated at the time of final follow up of 1 year.
Thirty-eight of these had associated co-morbidities; the treatment regimen however was not altered for the associated co-morbidities. Each patient was given a course of Nandrolone 50 milligrams, given deep intra-muscular every week for five weeks, starting a day after the surgery, irrespective of the modality of treatment of the fracture.
Every patient included in the study was treated with a suitable operation after getting the patient fit for anesthesia. Post-operatively each patient was mobilized on the second post-operative day and advised a similar physiotherapy and diet plan. Each patient was also given a course of elemental calcium milligram and calcitriol 0. The patients were followed up at 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. They were screened for any possible steroid related side effects together with measurement of bone mineral density, calculation of Katz index for activities of daily living and measurement of functional improvement in the operated hip as per the Harris Hip Score.
In the second group, of the total patients ten expired and twenty were lost to follow up leaving a total of 86 at final follow up, of which 18 had associated co-morbidities which however did not alter the treatment regimen.
Each patient was given a course of elemental calcium milligram and calcitriol 0. Analyzing the data hence compiled showed an almost equal age distribution of patients with about one third patients in their 7th, 8th and 9th decade of life each in both the groups.
At the end of our study we had 47 males and 53 females with 68 inter-trochanteric fractures and 32 fractures of the neck of femur in group one. The associated co-morbidities however did not show any significant effect on the final outcome of the patients. In the second group we had 40 males and 46 females at final follow up with 60 inter-trochanteric fractures and 26 fractures of neck of femur.
Two were diabetic along with hypertensive. We did not observe any significant variations in results between the two sexes.
The improvement in the bone mineral density was comparable irrespective of the type of surgery the patient underwent. The bone mineral density t- scores of the patients were measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry at presentation and later at 3, 6 and 12 months of follow up and analyzed. It was observed that the mean t-score improved from The Katz index of independence in activities of daily living too showed improvement on follow up Figure 4.
Majority of the patients were completely independent in their activities of daily living at final follow up. This could be attributed to the generalized well-being due to the treatment regimen give. As far as side effects are concerned, we did not notice any steroid related side effects in any of our patients; this could partly be attributed to the fact that the steroids so administered were given in low doses. The group treated with just vitamin D and calcium showed improvements in their t- score to a lesser extent.
The mean t-score improved from The z-scores obtained using the dual energy X-ray absorptiometry showed improvement from the mean 1. The improvement shown in this group was statistically insignificant with a p value of 0. At 12 months follow up the mean Harris Hip Score was Following up the Katz index of independence in activities of daily living showed that the improvement was significantly less compared to the group on nandrolone decanoate.
Comparing the results obtained at the end of 12 months, it was obvious that the improvement in the BMD as well as the functional improvement in the group on anabolic steroids was significantly more than the group not put on anabolic steroids. The patients put on anabolic steroids showed better improvements in their Harris Hip Scores and Katz index compared to patients who did not receive anabolic steroids.
The difference in the mean Harris Hip Score between the two groups was statistically significant with a p value of 0. Osteoporosis makes bones so feeble that even a mild stress can also lead to a fracture. The hip and the spine are the most common regions affected by osteoporosis. People of Asian origin have been found to be more prone to osteoporosis thus making its appropriate management more noteworthy in our scenario.
With the goal of preventing further fractures and returning the patients back to their social life early, anabolic steroids have been advocated as the ideal treatment for osteoporosis. They act by increasing the bone mass at the fracture site and counter-balancing the catabolic state of the body, thus bringing about a state of well being. In addition, they also help increase the lean muscle mass. Villareal et al had described a treatment regime with dihydroepiandrosterone in elderly patients.
They observed an increase in the bone mineral density and a reversal of age related changes with increase in the lean body mass and a decrease in the fat mass. Inkovaara J et al in their double-blind placebo-controlled long-term clinical trial concluded that methandienone anabolic steroid reduces osteoporosis best when used along with calcium and Vitamin D.
Thinking on the same lines we administered calcium and Vitamin D to all our patients. Need et al had established an increase in bone mineral density in the forearm when giving 50 mg of nandrolone decanoate every third week for one year, as opposed to a decrease in the control group. They also reported a high incidence of hoarseness of voice in the patients treated with anabolic steroids. Other important side effects that have been reported following a course of anabolic steroids are coronary deaths and deranged liver function.
We however did not face any treatment related side effects in our patients, but we admit that a total of 8 patients expired during the study period of one year following the surgery, and the exact cause of their death could not be identified and coronary deaths cannot be ruled out.
But, going by the current figures of our country, the mortality rates are comparable to those of age matched geriatric population in the country and lower than that reported by other studies.
The analysis of data in our study suggests that the treatment with a low dose of anabolic steroids nandrolone decanoate in combination with a low dose of calcitriol and calcium results in a significant gain in the bone mass which was made evident by the improvement in the bone mineral density at successive follow ups.
Also such doses are not associated with any significant side effects. The same period of follow up also revealed significant improvement in the quality of life of our patients. However, we suggest that comparative studies with a larger sample size are required to further support this observation.
World Health Organization technical report series. Management of male osteoporosis: Report of the UK Consensus Group. Q J Med ; Age-related hip fracture in men: Osteoporosis Int ; 5: The cost of treating osteoporotic fractures in the United Kingdom female population.
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J Bone Joint Surg. Progress in the development of the index of ADL. Post-menopausal oestrogens protect against fractures of hip and distal radius: Treatment of osteoporotic patients. Effects of DHEA replace- ment on bone mineral density and body composition in elderly women and men.