Successful Treatment of Infantile Hemangiomas With Propranolol in Low-Birth-Weight Infants

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Abstract

Background:

Infantile hemangioma (IH) is a benign neoplasm that causes scarring and cosmetic problems after spontaneous regression. Therefore, aggressive treatments such as laser irradiation and corticosteroid have been used; however, recently, the effect of propranolol has been widely noticed. In this study, the authors applied propranolol to low-birth-weight infants with IHs and evaluated its effect.

Methods:

Four low-birth-weight infants having IH were selected, with birth weights ranging from 582 to 814 g (average 703 g). The administration of propranolol was started within 4 days of hospitalization. The dosage of propranolol was increased from 0.5 to 2.0 mg/kg/day step by step. Vital signs and blood sugar level were checked prior to every administration of the drug. Continuous monitoring of electrocardiography and arterial oxygen saturation were performed during entire hospitalization.

Methods:

The outcomes were assessed by the patient's family and 2 board-certified plastic surgeons based on 5 parameters pertaining to clinical findings, using a scale of 1 to 10. Reduction rate of the hemangioma was calculated at the end of treatment and compared with the size prior to treatment.

Results:

The authors could administrate propranolol without any severe side effects in all patients. Infantile hemangiomas gradually shrank soon after the authors started the treatment. Reduction ratios were 22.1% to 100% (average 48.72%), and the comprehensive evaluation of treatment was 7.5 to 10 (average 8.55) on a 10-point scale.

Conclusions:

With careful monitoring of their vital signs, propranolol could be a good treatment option even for IH in low-birth-weight infants whose birth weights were less than 1000 g.

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