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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2010 Sep;74(9):1043-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2010.06.001. Epub 2010 Jul 31.

Propranolol for the treatment of airway hemangiomas: a case series and treatment algorithm.

Author information

  • 1Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Department of Otolaryngology, 710 Lawrence Expressway, Dept 296, Santa Clara, CA 95051, USA. mtruong@ohns.stanford.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

(1) To present six patients with symptomatic airway hemangiomas treated with oral propranolol. (2) To review the diagnostic and treatment options for airway hemangiomas and propose a new management protocol.

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective review.

SETTING:

Tertiary care children's hospital.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

Pediatric patients diagnosed with obstructive airway hemangiomas treated with oral propranolol. Patients were followed for symptomatic improvement and relief of airway obstruction on imaging or laryngoscopy.

RESULTS:

Seven patients presenting with airway obstruction were treated with propranolol. One patient had a focal hemangioma confined to the subglottis. Four patients had airway hemangiomas that extended beyond the confines of the larynx and trachea. A sixth patient had a bulky supraglottic hemangioma. A seventh patient with an extensive maxillofacial lesion failed propranolol therapy and was found to have a pyogenic granuloma on final pathology after excision. Six patients had failed standard medical therapy and/or surgical interventions and were treated successfully with oral propranolol with improvements in airway symptoms and oral intake, requiring no further surgical intervention. Treatment was initiated as early as 1.5 months of age, and as late as 22 months. No adverse side effects of propranolol were noted.

CONCLUSIONS:

Oral propranolol was successfully used to treat airway hemangiomas, resulting in rapid airway stabilization, obviating the need for operative intervention, and reducing the duration of systemic corticosteroid therapy while causing no obvious adverse effects. These outstanding results enable the possibility of use of a standardized diagnostic and treatment algorithm for airway hemangiomas that incorporates systemic propranolol.

Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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