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Pediatr Dermatol. 2011 Mar-Apr;28(2):108-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.2011.01345.x. Epub 2011 Mar 8.

Propranolol for infantile hemangiomas.

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Department of Dermatology, Hospital del Niño Jesús, Madrid, Spain.


Propranolol has been used successfully in a limited number of children with infantile hemangiomas. This multicenter retrospective study describes the efficacy and adverse effects of propranolol in infantile hemangioma. Seventy-one infants with infantile hemangiomas were treated with oral propranolol, 1 mg/kg/12 hours, for at least 12 weeks. A photograph based severity scoring assessment was performed by five observers to evaluate efficacy, utilizing a scoring system of 10 as the original infantile hemangioma before treatment and 0 as completely normal skin. The mean of the five independent measurements was used in the analysis. Propranolol was a rapid and effective treatment for infantile hemangiomas at 4 weeks (p < 0.001), at 8 weeks (p < 0.001 compared to the 4 wks value), at 12 weeks (p < 0.05 compared to the 8 wks value), and thereafter up to 32 weeks (p < 0.01 compared to the 16 wks value). The response of infantile hemangiomas to propranolol was similar regardless of sex, age at onset of treatment, type of involvement (segmental and nonsegmental), facial segments affected, special locations (eyelid, nasal tip, and parotid region), ulceration, and depth of infantile hemangiomas. Very few side effects were reported; mainly agitated sleep in 10 of 71 patients. In the series of patients in this study, oral propranolol 2 mg/kg/day was a well-tolerated and effective treatment for infantile hemangiomas. Prospective studies are needed to establish the exact role of propranolol in the treatment of infantile hemangiomas.

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