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Adv Clin Exp Med. 2019 Jan 15. doi: 10.17219/acem/94136. [Epub ahead of print]

Safety assessment during initiation and maintenance of propranolol therapy for infantile hemangiomas.

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Department of Pediatric and Oncological Surgery, Urology and Hand Surgery, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland.
Department of Pediatrics, Endocrinology, Diabetology, Metabolic Diseases and Cardiology of Developmental Age, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland.
Department of Pediatric Surgery and Urology, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland.



Propranolol is an effective method of treatment for infantile hemangiomas (IH). A recent concern is a shift of the therapy into outpatient settings.


The aim of the study was to evaluate the safety of initiating and maintaining propranolol therapy for IH.


The study involved 55 consecutive children with IH being treated with propranolol. The patients were assessed in the hospital at the initiation of the therapy and later in outpatient settings during and after the therapy. Each time, the following monitoring methods were used: physical examination, cardiac ultrasound (ECHO), electrocardiography (ECG), blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and biochemical parameters: blood count, blood glucose, aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), and ionogram. The therapeutic dose of propranolol was 2.0 mg/kg/day divided into 2 doses.


Four children were excluded during the qualification or the initiation of propranolol; a total of 51 patients were subject to the final analysis. All the children presented clinical improvement. There was a significant reduction in the mean HR values only at the initiation of propranolol. There were no changes in HR during the course of the therapy. Blood pressure values were within normal limits. Both systolic and diastolic values decreased in the first 3 months. Bradycardia and hypotension were observed sporadically, and they were asymptomatic. Electrocardiography did not show significant deviations. The pathological findings of the ECHO scans were not a contraindication to continuing the therapy. There were no changes in biochemical parameters. Apart from 1 symptomatic case of hypoglycemia, other low glucose episodes were asymptomatic and sporadic. The observed adverse effects were mild and the propranolol dose had to be adjusted in only 6 cases.


Propranolol is effective, safe and well-tolerated by children with IH. The positive results of the safety assessment support the strategy of initiating propranolol in outpatient settings. Future studies are needed to assess the benefits of the therapy in ambulatory conditions.


ECG monitoring; adverse effects; blood pressure; infantile hemangioma; propranolol


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