Objective: To assess propranolol efficacy and safety in complicated infantile hemangiomas in two different age groups. Patients and methods: We report on 68 infants with infantile hemangiomas treated with oral propranolol at the lowest effective dose at different ages for a period of six months. Inclusion criteria were life-threatening hemangiomas, function-threatening hemangiomas, facial hemangiomas with risk for disfigurement, and extensive and ulcerated hemangiomas. A previously designed safety protocol was applied to all patients. The evolution of all hemangiomas since baseline (pre-therapy) until the end of follow-up was assessed on the basis of clinical features (color, palpable softening, size, and volume) and taken at follow-up visits. Results: Our results showed that propranolol was effective in arresting the proliferative phase and in accelerating the involution of infantile hemangiomas in 92.6% of cases. Propranolol efficacy was clear even when it was started after 12 months of life at low dose; after discontinuation of therapy there was a moderate-to-severe regrowth in 9.3% of cases and a mild regrowth in 22.5%. No adverse events were observed. Conclusions: Propranolol should be used as first-line medical treatment in all cases of complicated infantile hemangiomas.
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