Objective To assess the safety and efficacy of systemic propranolol for the treatment of complicated infantile haemangiomas.
Design Retrospective review of case notes of paediatric patients treated with propranolol for complicated infantile haemangiomas.
Setting Tertiary care children's hospital.
Patients All paediatric patients with complicated infantile haemangiomas who commenced treatment with propranolol from July 2008 to December 2011 and have completed treatment for at least 3 months.
Results 250 patients were treated with propranolol; 34.4% were premature and 5.6% postmature. Indications for propranolol included: vision compromise (42.0%), bleeding and/or ulceration (30.4%) airway obstruction (8.8%), feeding difficulty (8.4%), risk of permanent disfigurement (4.4%) and other (6%) (nasal obstruction, auditory canal obstruction, large haemangioma, compression of neck structure and spinal cord). Median age at beginning of treatment was 4.5 months. Median age at end of treatment was 16.7 months. Median length of therapy was 11.8 months. Adverse effects (such as wheezing, worsening of ulceration, sleep disturbance, diarrhoea) occurred in 38 patients (15.2%), leading to modifications in management in 26 patients (10.4%). 240 patients (96%) had good to excellent response to treatment. 20 patients (8%) experienced regrowth of the haemangioma on cessation of propranolol and six patients (2.4%) required propranolol to be restarted.
Conclusions In appropriately selected patients, propranolol is a safe and effective treatment for infantile haemangiomas.
- General Paediatrics