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Propranolol for the treatment of infantile haemangiomas: our experience with 44 patients

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  • Conflict of interest: none declared.

Summary

Propranolol is an effective, safe treatment for complicated infantile haemangiomas (IH). We evaluated all patients (n = 44) with IH treated with propranolol in our department. Of the 44 patients who were begun on propranolol therapy, 26 patients have completed the treatment to date and all had a good response. The mean duration of treatment was 45.7 weeks. Four patients developed rebound growth of their IH, which responded to the reintroduction of propranolol. Two patients with PHACES (posterior fossa malformations, haemangiomas, arterial anomalies, coarctation of the aorta/cardiac abnormalities, eye anomalies and sternal defects/supraumbilical raphe) syndrome were treated with lower than standard doses, because of concern about possible cerebrovascular compromise. Adverse effects were minor in most patients. Three patients discontinued propranolol because of vomiting, wheeze, and hypoglycaemia, respectively. Our duration of treatment was longer than that of other series, and may be due to our group having higher rates of hypotension, recorded in 27.3% of patients, precluding an increase in propranolol dose. Our experience supports that propranolol is an effective first-line agent for complicated IH.

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