Propranolol treatment of infantile hemangioma is not associated with psychological problems at 7 years of age

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Abstract

Background

Concern has been raised about the potential long-term effects of propranolol treatment for infantile hemangioma (IH).

Objectives

We sought to assess psychologic (social, emotional, behavioral, and executive) functioning in children treated with propranolol for IH.

Methods

Twenty-seven patients with IH (6.1-7.6 years of age) treated with propranolol for ≥6 months during infancy, and without other developmental risk factors, were recruited. Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Social Emotional Questionnaire, Child Behavior Checklist, and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. For each questionnaire, the number of patients with abnormal scores, based on established cutoff points, was calculated.

Results

Only 1 child (3.7%) scored outside the normal range. The Hemangioma Severity Scale did not correlate with psychologic problems in these patients. Longer treatment duration was found to correlate with less attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) characteristics (ρ = −0.476; P = .012) and better executive functioning (ρ = −0.466; P = .014).

Limitations

Exclusion of children born at gestational age <36 weeks or small for gestational age, no reference group and relatively small study size.

Conclusion

We found no increased risk for psychologic problems at age 7 in IH patients treated with propranolol.

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