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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2011 Apr;64(4):445-51. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2010.07.009. Epub 2010 Aug 24.

Propranolol as first-line treatment for rapidly proliferating infantile haemangiomas.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Eaton Road, Liverpool L12 2AP, UK.


Infantile haemangioma is the commonest childhood tumour and approximately 10% requires treatment.(1,2) Recent reports have highlighted the impressive efficacy of propranolol in treating rapidly proliferating haemangioma. The aims of our study were to prospectively assess the efficacy of propranolol as a first line treatment for problematic haemangioma, and develop a treatment regime. 31 consecutive patients with rapidly proliferating infantile haemangioma with functional impairment or cosmetic disfigurement were treated with propranolol as a first line treatment. All patients had cardiovascular pre-treatment work-up and commenced on propranolol at 3 mg/kg/day. A rapid halt in haemangioma proliferation was seen in 100% of patients and significant regression in 87% of patients. This treatment is well tolerated and has little side effects. Since this study, our unit has adopted the policy of using propranolol as a first line treatment for all problematic proliferative infantile haemangiomas.

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