International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 121, Issue 1, pp 48–53 | Cite as

Sudden cardiac death during anabolic steroid abuse: morphologic and toxicologic findings in two fatal cases of bodybuilders

  • Vittorio FineschiEmail author
  • Irene Riezzo
  • Fabio Centini
  • Enrico Silingardi
  • Manuela Licata
  • Giovanni Beduschi
  • Steven B. Karch
Case Report


We report two cases of sudden cardiac death (SCD) involving previously healthy bodybuilders who were chronic androgenic–anabolic steroids users. In both instances, autopsies, histology of the organs, and toxicologic screening were performed. Our findings support an emerging consensus that the effects of vigorous weight training, combined with anabolic steroid use and increased androgen sensitivity, may predispose these young men to myocardial injury and even SCD.


Androgenic–anabolic steroids Sudden cardiac death Toxicologic findings Histology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vittorio Fineschi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Irene Riezzo
    • 1
  • Fabio Centini
    • 2
  • Enrico Silingardi
    • 3
  • Manuela Licata
    • 3
  • Giovanni Beduschi
    • 3
  • Steven B. Karch
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Forensic PathologyUniversity of FoggiaFoggiaItaly
  2. 2.Unit of Forensic ToxicologyUniversity of SienaSienaItaly
  3. 3.Institute of Forensic MedicineUniversity of Modena-Reggio EmiliaReggio EmiliaItaly
  4. 4.BerkeleyUSA

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