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March 1974

Androgens and Human Blood Volume Changes: Comparison in Normal and Various Anemic States

Author Affiliations


From the Hematology Research Laboratory, Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia.

Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(3):418-425. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320150092011

Blood volumes before and at five-week intervals during nandrolone decanoate therapy were measured in 30 patients. In nine nonanemic but impotent male patients, an increase in hematocrit value was due to hemoconcentration during the first five weeks; red blood cell (RBC) mass increased the tenth week. In ten patients with malignant disease and four patients with sickle cell anemia, this response in plasma volume and RBC mass occurred as early as five to ten weeks. Of seven patients with refractory anemia, blood volume changes ocurred in two patients as late as the 30th week of therapy. In previous studies, testosterone enanthate has been shown to increase plasma volume. This unique property of nandrolone decanoate in decreasing plasma volume appears to be a physiologic response, probably similar to that found in acclimatization to high altitude in man. Nandrolone decanoate therapy may be desirable when fluid retention is contraindicated.