Conflict of interest: none declared.
Clinical dermatology ● Original article
Imiquimod 5% cream versus timolol 0.5% ophthalmic solution for treating superficial proliferating infantile haemangiomas: a retrospective study
Article first published online: 30 APR 2013
© 2013 British Association of Dermatologists
Clinical and Experimental Dermatology
Volume 38, Issue 8, pages 845–850, December 2013
How to Cite
Qiu, Y., Ma, G., Yang, J., Hu, X., Chen, H., Jin, Y. and Lin, X. (2013), Imiquimod 5% cream versus timolol 0.5% ophthalmic solution for treating superficial proliferating infantile haemangiomas: a retrospective study. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 38: 845–850. doi: 10.1111/ced.12150
- Issue published online: 20 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 30 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JAN 2013
Infantile haemangiomas (IHs) are the most common vascular tumours of infancy. Topical therapies are a possible treatment for superficial IHs.
To determine the efficacy and safety of topical therapy in the treatment of superficial proliferating IHs.
The medical records of all the patients with proliferating superficial IHs were reviewed. All lesions had been treated either with imiquimod 5% cream or timolol 0.5% ophthalmic solution. Lesions were classified into pairs, with one of each treatment in each pair, matched by anatomical location, colour and size. A visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Haemangioma Activity Score (HAS) were used to evaluate the efficacy of the two drugs. The paired Student t-test was used to test for differences in recovery with these two treatments.
In total, 51 patients treated with timolol and 94 treated with imiquimod met the inclusion criteria, and 20 lesions treated with timolol were successfully matched to a lesion treated with imiquimod. The paired t-test indicated that there was no significant difference in either VAS score (P = 0.11) or HAS (P = 0.49). For the imiquimod-treated patients, crusting was the most common reaction (65.0%, 13/20). This did not cause any superficial scarring or skin pigmentation in the matched pairs; however, superficial scars (14.9%, 14/94) and skin pigmentation disorders (28.7%, 27/94) were reported for some of the unmatched cases. There were no adverse events (AEs) during the treatment with timolol.
Both imiquimod 5% cream or timolol 0.5% ophthalmic solution showed equivalent clinical efficacy after 4 months of treatment. Timolol appeared to have fewer AEs than imiquimod in the management of superficial IHs. Larger, prospective controlled trials with long-term treatment are needed to confirm these results.