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Keywords:

  • paediatrics;
  • vascular neoplasms

Abstract

Infantile haemangiomas, common benign vascular tumours of childhood, are characterized by rapid growth during the first year of life and a slow regression that is usually completed at 7–10 years of age. These tumours are composed of endothelial cells with high mitotic rates and stromal components such as fibroblasts, mast cells and pericytes. Haemangiomas become a challenge when they are part of a syndrome, are located in certain areas of the body or when complications develop. The above-mentioned factors also influence the treatment modality used. However, although there remain many uncertainties regarding management, the β-adrenergic receptor blocker propranolol is a promising new candidate for first-line systemic therapy. It produces such a dramatic and rapid response that the appearance of an infantile haemangioma should impart expeditious consideration of the risks and benefits of its use.