Propranolol therapy for infantile hemangioma

Nivedita Gunturi, Sriram Ramgopal, Subramanian Balagopal, Julius Xavier Scott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Context: There has been widespread interest surrounding the use of beta-blockers (i.e. propranolol, timolol, nadolol, acebutolol) in the treatment of infantile hemangiomas (IH). Objective: To review literature evaluating treatment of IH with propranolol. Evidence Acquisition: We conducted a literature search on PubMed and investigated for case reports, case series, and controlled trials by using search terms including "hemangioma" and "propranolol." Results: Data suggest that beta-blockers are efficacious in cutaneous, orbital, subglottic, and hepatic hemangiomas and assist in the resolution of ulcerated hemangiomas. Improvement has also been documented in children with PHACE syndrome. Propranolol produces favorable results in children who do not respond to steroids and with no long-term adverse effects. Propranolol should be administered with caution due to rare but serious side effects including hypoglycemia, wheezing, hypotension, and bradycardia. Additionally, recurrence of lesions following the cessation of treatment has been documented. Conclusions: Although large-scale randomized controlled trials must be conducted in order to further evaluate the safety and the possible role of propranolol in the treatment of IH, the reviewed literature suggests that propranolol carries promise as a potential replacement for corticosteroids as first-line therapy or as a part of a multimodal approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-313
Number of pages7
JournalIndian Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Beta-blockers
  • Capillary hemangioma
  • Infants
  • PHACE association
  • Propranolol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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