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Hong Kong Med J. 2010 Oct;16(5):341-6.

Use of propranolol in infantile haemangioma among Chinese children.

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Department of Paediatrics, United Christian Hospital, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong.



To describe the use of propranolol as first-line treatment or as single therapy to control the proliferating phase of infantile haemangioma in Chinese children.


Retrospective study.


Regional hospital, Hong Kong.


Children 3 years old or younger with facial haemangioma who took oral propranolol between 1 December 2008 and 1 December 2009.


There were 12 such patients, all of whom underwent prior clinical evaluation before starting the treatment. Ten patients had a solitary facial haemangioma and two had multiple haemangiomas. The mean age of symptom onset was 12 days. The mean age for starting propranolol treatment was 7 months, and in all cases a clinical response was observed within 7 days. Five (41%) of the patients had complete resolution 2 to 6 months after starting medication, at which time they were 5 to 12 months old. Two of them had a recurrence of the haemangioma within 8 weeks of stopping the drug, but responded to a second treatment course. In these two patients, the propranolol dosage had been tailed down rapidly and the therapy was of a shorter duration than in those without recurrence. The remaining seven patients are still taking propranolol and responding satisfactorily. Hypotension was observed in two patients, one of whom tolerated a lower dose and in the other, therapy was reinitiated at her older age. No serious side-effect was encountered in the remaining patients.


Propranolol was useful as first-line or single-agent treatment of facial infantile haemangioma in Chinese children, and gave rise to minimal side-effects. Although recurrence of infantile haemangioma occurred after propranolol was tailed off rapidly after a relatively short duration, an optimal treatment duration and tapering schedule has not yet been defined. Nevertheless, patients responded well to second courses of propranolol therapy.

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