Propranolol treatment of infantile hemangioma (IH) is not associated with developmental risk or growth impairment at age 4 years

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Long-term adverse effects of propranolol treatment for infantile hemangioma (IH) in young children have been suggested.


To compare growth and development in children treated with propranolol for IH with nontreated healthy controls.


Eighty two (73%) children with IH aged 43 to 51 months treated with propranolol for 6 months or longer, and without other developmental risk factors, were recruited (cases) and matched with 4 twin counterparts and 78 children from a community-based cohort (control subjects). Parents completed the 48-months Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). Percentages of children with abnormal ASQ results were compared using χ2 analyses. Mean ASQ scores and growth were compared using Mann-Whitney U tests.


Six (7.3%) cases had abnormal ASQ results, compared with 10 (12.2%) controls (P = .292). Mean ASQ total score (25th-75th percentile) was 52.9 (50.8-57.0) for cases and 51.9 (49.0-56.0) for controls (P = .383). Height and weight of cases and controls were comparable.


A parent-completed screening instrument was used. The exclusion of children born at gestational age less than 36 weeks and/or children born small for gestational age partly limits generalizability.


We found no increased developmental risk or growth impairment at age 4 years in patients with IH treated with propranolol.

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