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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2011 Apr;75(4):455-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2011.01.028. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

A meta-analysis on the effectiveness of propranolol for the treatment of infantile airway haemangiomas.

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Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.



To study the effectiveness of propranolol in infantile airway haemangiomas and compare the effectiveness of propranolol vs. different therapies.


A literature search of Ovid, Embase, the Cochrane database, Google™ Scholar, and Medline using PubMed as the search engine was performed to identify studies that analysed the effect of propranolol treatment in children with airway haemangiomas. Random-effect meta-analytical techniques were conducted for the outcome measures.


Thirteen studies, comprising 36 patients were included in the analysis. Propranolol was found to be an effective intervention for the resolution of infantile airway haemangiomas (P<0.00001). Meta-analysis of effectiveness of propranolol vs. steroids, CO(2) laser, or vincristine showed that propranolol is the most effective treatment.


This meta-analysis demonstrated that propranolol should be recommended as a first-line treatment in infantile airway haemangiomas. However, because of the possible side effects of propranolol, current infantile haemangioma treatment centres recommend a full cardiovascular and respiratory review be performed prior to initiation of therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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