Table 21 Anabolic Steroid Agents for Healing of Pressure Injuries

Author Year
Research Design
Sample Size

Methods Outcome

Bauman et al. 2013





Population: Inpatients with SCI and stage III or IV target pressure injuries (TPUs).

Intervention: Oxandrolone, 20 mg/d (n=108), or placebo (n=104) until the TPU healed or 24 wk.

Outcome Measures: The primary outcome was healed TPUs. The secondary outcome was the percentage of TPUs that remained healed at 8-wk follow-up.

  1. Oxandrolone showed no benefit over placebo for improving healing or the percentage of TPUs that remained closed after 8 wk of treatment.

Spungen et al. 2001


Case Series


Population: Mean age=24-73 yr; Gender: males=9; Total number of pressure injuries since SCI=1 to 7.

Intervention: Subjects with stage III and IV pressure injuries were treated with 20 mg of oxandrolone daily with 20 g of glutamine dissolved in orange juice. Pressure injury care and support surfaces remained consistent.

Outcome Measures: Number of pressure injuries healed.

  1. After oxandrolone and glutamine treatment, 8/9 subjects were completely healed, the majority within 3-6 mo. Two subjects required 12 mo of treatment for complete healing.