A very typical case of severe cholestasis due to anabolic steroid use. Because the steroids were being used without medical supervision, the dose and actual duration of use of each preparation was unclear, but cholestasis usually arises within 4 to 12 weeks of starting a C-17 alkylated androgenic steroid. The jaundice can be severe and prolonged and accompanied by severe pruritus and marked weight loss. The serum enzymes are typically minimally elevated except for a short period immediately after stopping therapy. The pattern of enzyme elevations can be hepatocellular, cholestatic or mixed. Liver biopsy shows a “bland” cholestasis with minimal inflammation and hepatocellular necrosis. Ma Huang has also been implicated in cases of drug induced liver injury, but is associated with an acute hepatocellular pattern of injury.
The mouse is being increasingly used to study the anabolic action of parathyroid hormone (PTH) on the skeleton. The efficacy of intermittent PTH treatment on bone varies widely among tested strains of mice with differences in peak bone mass and structure. We have therefore examined the responses of skeletal sites with high or low cancellous bone mass to PTH treatment in a single strain with genetically low bone mass. Mature C57BL/6 mice were ovariectomized (ovx) or sham operated and, after 4 weeks, treated with PTH(1-34) (40 microg/kg/day, 5 days/week sc) or vehicle for 3 or 7 weeks. Two doses of fluorescent labels were given to the animals 9 and 3 days before euthanasia. Histomorphometry was performed on sections of the proximal tibia, tibial diaphysis, and vertebral body. The results indicate that 4 to 11 weeks of ovx induced a approximately 44% loss of cancellous bone in the proximal tibia and a approximately 25% loss of cancellous bone in the vertebra with impaired trabecular architecture and high bone turnover. In the intact animals, PTH increased cancellous bone volume to a greater extent in the vertebral body than in the proximal tibia, a site with lower cancellous bone volume at the outset. In the ovx mice, PTH increased cancellous bone volume to a greater extent in the vertebral body, a site displaying moderate cancellous bone loss, than in the proximal tibia, a site with severe cancellous bone loss. Conversely, the treatment added a little cortical bone to the tibia, a highly loaded site, but did not significantly increase cortical width of the vertebral body, a less loaded site. We conclude that, for intermittent PTH treatment to be maximally effective, there must be an adequate number of trabeculae present at the beginning of treatment, regardless of estrogen status. Our results also support an interaction between PTH anabolic action and mechanical loading.
Even though anabolic steroids do not cause the same high as other drugs, they can lead to addiction. Studies have shown that animals will self-administer steroids when they have the chance, just as they do with other addictive drugs. People may continue to abuse steroids despite physical problems, high costs to buy the drugs, and negative effects on their relationships. These behaviors reflect steroids' addictive potential. Research has further found that some steroid users turn to other drugs, such as opioids, to reduce sleep problems and irritability caused by steroids.