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Drug Discov Ther. 2017 Jul 31;11(3):161-164. doi: 10.5582/ddt.2017.01025. Epub 2017 Jul 25.

Beta blocker and steroid therapy in the treatment of infantile hepatic hemangioendothelioma.

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Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Eskişehir Osmangazi University Faculty of Medicine.
Department of Pediatrics, Eskişehir Osmangazi University Faculty of Medicine.
Department of Radiology, Eskişehir Osmangazi University Faculty of Medicine.


Infantile hepatic hemangioendothelioma (IHHE) is the most common benign vascular liver tumor and typically occurs during the first 6 months of life. A 4-month-old male patient presented with abdominal distention. A physical examination revealed massive hepatomegaly. Liver enzyme levels were normal. The alpha fetoprotein level was 1,323 mg/dL (6-1,000). Abdominal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed multiple, well-defined and hyperintense nodular lesions in the liver. MRI findings suggested IHHE. The thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level was high (177.2 µU/mL). He was started on sodium levothyroxine 50 μg daily. The patient has hypoxemia due to abdominal distention during the follow-up period. Oral methylprednisolone therapy was started at a dose of 2.5 mg/kg/dose, and propranolol at a dose of 1 mg/kg/dose, bid. Fifteen days later his TSH level remained elevated at 212.3 μU/mL despite repeatedly increasing the dose of levothyroxine up to 200 μg/daily. One month after the initial presentation, his TSH level was reduced to 11.28 µU/mL. We observed a marked improvement in abdominal distention and respiratory distress within 15 days and an average reduction of 50% in the lesion diameters after a month. Despite its benign nature, IHHE may lead to development of complications. Steroid and propranolol treatment may be useful in in the management of emergency complications.


Infantile hepatic hemangioendothelioma; methylprednisolone; propranolol

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