Prolonged androgenic anabolic steroid (AAS) induced QT interval shortening: a suitable screening tool?

Nicholas Sculthorpe, Lee Taylor, Fergal M Grace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Androgenic anabolic steroid (AAS) abuse is associated with changes in cardiac electrophysiology. Recently heart rate corrected QT interval (QTc) has been suggested as a method of screening for AAS use in athletes despite conflicting reports. This study aimed to further investigate the effect of AAS on QTc in a cohort of long-term AAS users in whom the affects may be more pronounced. Using a cross-sectional cohort design with AAS using resistance trained athletes (AS n = 15) and a group of non-AAS using resistance trained, age matched controls (C n = 15). AS had a long history of AAS use (18 ± 2 yrs) and AS and C both had >19 years of resistance training. Participants underwent a resting electrocardiogram (ECG), from which, the QTc interval was calculated using the Bazett formula. The main outcome measure was significant differences in mean corrected QTc between groups. A secondary outcome was to calculate a QTc that best differentiated between C and AS. Results indicated that QTc was shorter in AS than in C (382.0 ± 21.01 ms versus 409 ± 18.77 ms for AS and C respectively p < 0.001). Chi squared analyses revealed a greater incidence of QTc < 380 ms in AS versus C p < 0.01, specificity 93% sensitivity 60%). In conclusion these results supports previous findings that AAS use causes a reduction in QTc, however, the specificity and sensitivity in our sample is lower than reported previously and precludes use as a screening tool. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-3
Number of pages3
JournalDrug Testing and Analysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Prolonged androgenic anabolic steroid (AAS) induced QT interval shortening: a suitable screening tool?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this