Propranolol therapy for cutaneous infantile haemangiomas initiated safely as a day-case procedure
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- McSwiney, E., Murray, D. & Murphy, M. Eur J Pediatr (2014) 173: 63. doi:10.1007/s00431-013-2105-5
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Propranolol is emerging as the treatment of choice for high-risk infantile haemangiomas. Current protocols recommend overnight admission for initiation of propranolol as well as baseline investigations including electrocardiography (ECG) and echocardiography (ECHO). Our study examined the safety profile of propranolol for the treatment of infantile haemangiomas using a simplified day-case initiation protocol. We evaluated 20 consecutive patients commencing propranolol as a day case for the treatment of an infantile haemangioma over an 18-month period. Investigations were carried out according to our local protocol. Cardiac investigations were not routinely performed. Patients were observed for 2 h following administration of the first dose of propranolol (0.5 mg/kg orally). If no adverse effects were observed, patients were discharged on a daily dose of propranolol of 1 mg/kg, increased to 2 mg/kg on day 4. Patients were reviewed on the day ward on day 8. All haemangiomas requiring treatment were small to moderate in size (median maximum diameter 2.35 cm). Except for capillary blood glucose measurement, no patient required venepuncture for additional blood investigations. As all patients had a normal clinical examination, none required ECHO. An ECG was performed on just one patient. No adverse reactions were observed following administration of propranolol. All patients were discharged home on the same day. No serious adverse events were reported at follow-up. We demonstrate that with targeted cardiac screening, propranolol can be safely initiated on a day-case basis for the treatment of small- to moderate-sized infantile haemangiomas.