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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010 Jun;24(6):631-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2010.03650.x.

Infantile haemangiomas: a challenge in paediatric dermatology.

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New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA.


Infantile haemangiomas, common benign vascular tumours of childhood, are characterized by rapid growth during the first year of life and a slow regression that is usually completed at 7-10 years of age. These tumours are composed of endothelial cells with high mitotic rates and stromal components such as fibroblasts, mast cells and pericytes. Haemangiomas become a challenge when they are part of a syndrome, are located in certain areas of the body or when complications develop. The above-mentioned factors also influence the treatment modality used. However, although there remain many uncertainties regarding management, the beta-adrenergic receptor blocker propranolol is a promising new candidate for first-line systemic therapy. It produces such a dramatic and rapid response that the appearance of an infantile haemangioma should impart expeditious consideration of the risks and benefits of its use.

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