Anabolic-androgenic steroids for alcoholic liver disease

Evidence Summaries

Level of Evidence = B
Anabolic-androgenic steroids appear not to be effective for alcoholic liver disease.

A Cochrane review (abstract , review ) included 5 studies with a total of 499 patients. Anabolic-androgenic steroids demonstrated no significant effects on mortality (relative risk [RR] 1.01, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.79 to 1.29), liver related mortality (RR 0.83, 95% CI 0.60 to 1.15), complications of liver disease (RR 1.25, 95% CI 0.74 to 2.10), and liver histology. Anabolic-androgenic steroids were not associated with a significantly increased risk of non-serious adverse events but with the seldom occurrence of serious adverse events (RR 4.54, 95% CI 0.57 to 36.30).

Comment: The quality of evidence is downgraded by study quality; inadequate or unclear allocation concealment and inadequate follow up.


1. Rambaldi A, Gluud C. Anabolic-androgenic steroids for alcoholic liver disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2006 Oct 18;(4):CD003045.  [PMID:17054157]

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