Objective: The aim of this study was to clarify the effect of administration of an anabolic steroid (AS) without the addition of specific training in stroke patients by measuring the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the thigh.
Design: Twenty-six hemiplegic stroke patients during subacute rehabilitation were randomly assigned to a metenolone enanthate (ME) administration group or a control group (CT group). In the ME group, ME (100 mg) was injected intramuscularly weekly for 6 wks in the ME group. The CSA of the bilateral thigh muscles was measured using computed tomography. Motor subscore of the Functional Independence Measure (FIM-M) was assessed before the experimental period.
Results: At the end of 6 wks, the CSA increase in the ME group (13.4%, affected side; 14.5%, unaffected side) was significantly larger than that in the CT group (3.3%, affected side; 5.2%, unaffected side). Correlation coefficients between the initial FIM-M score and the CSA increase at 6 wks were −0.754 for the affected side and −0.567 for the unaffected side in the ME group and 0.199 for the affected side and 0.431 for the unaffected side in the CT group.
Conclusions: ME administration is effective for improving muscle CSA and, thus, muscle strengthening in stroke rehabilitation. The CSA increase in the ME group was most prominent in patients with a low initial FIM-M score.