Efficacy of propranolol for cutaneous hemangiomas in premature children

Valeria Brazzeli, Chiara Giorgini, Stefania Barruscotti, Claudia A. Codazzi, Savina Mannarino, Chryssoula Tzialla, Mauro Stronati, Gian Luigi Marseglia, Giovanni Boroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of propranolol for problematic infantile hemangiomas (IH), showing our experience on 24 children, with special focus on premature infants. Methods: A retrospective observational study considered 24 patients who were given oral propranolol for the treatment of "problematic" IH. A multidisciplinary team, composed of a dermatologist, a pediatrician, a pediatric cardiologist, and a neonatologist, took part in the indication for propranolol and follow-up on all the patients. Propranolol was administered orally at the starting dose of 0.5-1 mg/kg/die and was gradually increased to the target dose of 2 mg/kg/die. A clinical gravity score, based on color, major diameter, thickness and texture was calculated for each IH, giving a numeric score before (t0) and after (tf) propranolol therapy. Improvement rate was evaluated in terms of score percentage difference between t0 and tf. Results: All of the IH except one (96%), showed a variable grade of improvement, with a median score improvement of 69.1%. Median initial score in premature and term infants did not show any significant difference (P=0.38). Otherwise the two subgroups showed a significant difference in final scores: medium percentage improvement in premature and term infants, was respectively 80.9% and 49.6% (P<0.01). No significant side effects were reported during the treatment period. Conclusions: As pointed out in our study, IH in premature children showed a significantly better response to propranolol treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-491
Number of pages7
JournalGiornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Hemangiomas
  • Premature infant
  • Propranolol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Dermatology


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