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Lack of Effect of Propranolol in the Treatment of Lymphangioma in Two Children


Address correspondence to Annabel Maruani, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Dermatology, University Francois Rabelais Tours, Inserm U930, CHRU Tours, Avenue de la République, Tours, France 37044, or e-mail:


Abstract:  Vascular lesions such as hemangiomas and lymphangiomas can cause significant mortality and morbidity, as well as amblyopia when located in the orbit. Oral propranolol can regress infantile hemangioma during infancy and up to 23 months of age, but its effect on lymphangioma has not been demonstrated. We present two cases of lymphatic malformations treated with oral propranolol. Patient 1 is a 2-year-old boy with macrocystic bilateral cervical lymphangioma extending to the pharynx and larynx and microcystic lymphangioma of the tongue. The patient was started on propranolol 2 mg/kg/day starting at 17 months of age, and after 3 months only a very slight decrease in tongue volume was noted. Patient 2 is a 3.5-year-old boy with magnetic resonance imaging evidence of right facial complex lymphangioma with venous malformation. The patient was placed on oral propranolol 2 mg/kg/day. After 3 months of treatment, no change in the lesion was noted except for a transient decrease in the size of the conjunctival telangiectasia. Propranolol 2 mg/kg/day was not effective in treating lymphatic malformations in two children, both older than 17 months at the time of treatment.