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Australas J Dermatol. 2019 Aug;60(3):181-185. doi: 10.1111/ajd.12966. Epub 2018 Dec 4.

Efficacy and safety of oral atenolol for the treatment of infantile haemangioma: A systematic review.

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Division of Oncology, Department of Pediatric Surgery, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Department of Critical Care Medicine, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.


Recently, several studies have reported their experience in using oral atenolol in patients with infantile haemangioma (IH), especially as an alternative to propranolol, but the efficacy and safety of oral atenolol has not been evaluated. We searched PubMed (Medline), Central, Embase, Web of Science and EBSCOhost (until May 2018) for the eligible studies reporting more than 10 IH patients who were treated with oral atenolol with detailed original data, including outcomes, regimens and adverse events (AEs). The data was standardised and analysed by using R software with meta-package. A total of 9 of 141 identified articles, including 341 infantile haemangioma patients treated with oral atenolol therapy, were included. The pooled response rate of atenolol was 0.90 (95% CI: 0.85-0.93), and the rebound rate was 0.11 (95% CI: 0.08-0.16). Among the 341 patients, 44 patients were switched to atenolol therapy from propranolol due to adverse events. The response rate of subsequent atenolol treatment was 90.9% (40/44). Regarding AEs, 141 patients reported 177 episodes of AEs, and the pooled rate was 0.26 (95% CI: 0.12-0.47). Gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. constipation, diarrhoea and vomiting) were the most frequent AEs (22.6%). Widely known propranolol-related AEs, including hypoglycaemia, bronchospasm, bradycardia and hypotension, were not recorded. Overall, atenolol appears to be an effective and safe therapy for the treatment of IH and may be a promising alternative to propranolol.


atenolol; efficacy; infantile hemangioma; safety; β-blockers


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