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Summary

Background

Although propranolol has become the first-line therapy for infantile haemangiomas (IHs), no study has yet investigated factors associated with the risk of relapse in children with IH treated with propranolol after cessation of treatment.

Objectives

To compare factors associated with the risk of relapse in children with IH treated with oral propranolol.

Methods

We conducted a single-centre retrospective observational study. All files and photographs of patients with IH aged 5 months or less at the time of treatment initiation, and who were seen between 1 June 2008 and 31 December 2011 at the National Reference Center for rare skin diseases of Bordeaux, were retrospectively reviewed.

Results

In total 158 children were included, of whom 118 had not relapsed and 40 had relapsed. Fifty-two patients were boys and 106 were girls (male : female ratio 1 : 2), and 19 had a segmental IH (12%). When conducting multivariate analysis, only IHs with a deep component and those with segmental distribution were independently associated with relapse.

Conclusions

Our study shows that segmental IHs, as well as haemangiomas with a deeper component, are more at risk of relapse and should thus indicate closer follow-up after treatment interruption, and/or longer treatment.