Background Infantile haemangiomas are common vascular tumours in children. Only 10–15% should be treated due to any vital, functional or aesthetic complication. Oral corticosteroids have been the primary treatment of choice. However, excellent outcomes have been reported with propranolol, and using it as first-line treatment is still a matter of debate.
Purpose To evaluate the short-term efficacy and safety of propranolol in the treatment of infantile haemangioma.
Materials and Methods A retrospective study was carried out in the Pharmacy Service of the Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valladolid between June 2009 and August 2012. All patients with infantile haemangioma treated with propranolol during the study period were included.
Results 32 patients (20 female) were treated with propranolol for an average of 9 months. Patients started treatment at an average age of 6 months (1–15). 9/32 of the haemangiomas had segmental distribution and 23/32 were located in the head and neck. 4/32 patients were previously been treated with oral corticosteroids with little improvement. 8/32 of patients achieved complete remission after 11 ± 5 months of treatment. One of these patients had to discontinue treatment due to an increase in the size of the lesion. In the remaining patients the use of propranolol accelerated the involution of the haemangiomas and decreased colour, brightness and growth. Adverse events were mild and self-limiting. Only 2 patient discontinued treatment due to hypotension.
Conclusions Only a quarter of patients achieved complete remission.
The average duration of treatment until complete remission was 11 months.
Only one patient didn’t achieve any improvement.
The use of propranolol is a safe alternative for treating haemangiomas.
No conflict of interest.
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