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Unusual association of diseases/symptoms
The development of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis secondary to anabolic steroid abuse


The authors present the case of a patient who presented to the nephrology department of a district general hospital with end-stage renal failure. He presented with malignant hypertension and symptoms and signs of uraemia. He also gave a history of prior abuse of anabolic steroids over a number of years. Renal biopsy was performed and the findings were in keeping with a diagnosis of advanced focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). The patient went on to require renal replacement therapy within weeks of presentation. The authors suggest that anabolic steroid abuse is a direct cause of FSGS. People with raised body mass index are known to be at increased risk of developing this condition, due to increased haemodynamic stress on the glomeruli, with subsequent development of sclerosis. However, the authors believe that anabolic steroid abuse may be an independent risk factor, and that anabolic steroids have a direct nephrotoxic effect that leads to a more advanced initial presentation with rapid decline in renal function.

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