Indian Pediatrics

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 307–313 | Cite as

Propranolol therapy for infantile hemangioma

  • Nivedita Gunturi
  • Sriram Ramgopal
  • Subramanian Balagopal
  • Julius Xavier Scott
Review Article



There has been widespread interest surrounding the use of beta-blockers (i.e. propranolol, timolol, nadolol, acebutolol) in the treatment of infantile hemangiomas (IH).


To review literature evaluating treatment of IH with propranolol.

Evidence Acquisition

We conducted a literature search on PubMed and investigated for case reports, case series, and controlled trials by using search terms including “hemangioma” and “propranolol.”


Data suggest that beta-blockers are efficacious in cutaneous, orbital, subglottic, and hepatic hemangiomas and assist in the resolution of ulcerated hemangiomas. Improvement has also been documented in children with PHACE syndrome. Propranolol produces favorable results in children who do not respond to steroids and with no long-term adverse effects. Propranolol should be administered with caution due to rare but serious side effects including hypoglycemia, wheezing, hypotension, and bradycardia. Additionally, recurrence of lesions following the cessation of treatment has been documented.


Although large-scale randomized controlled trials must be conducted in order to further evaluate the safety and the possible role of propranolol in the treatment of IH, the reviewed literature suggests that propranolol carries promise as a potential replacement for corticosteroids as first-line therapy or as a part of a multimodal approach.

Key words

Beta-blockers Capillary hemangioma Infants PHACE association Propranolol 


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Pediatrics 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nivedita Gunturi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sriram Ramgopal
    • 4
    • 2
  • Subramanian Balagopal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Julius Xavier Scott
    • 3
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Departments of PediatricsSri Ramachandra UniversityChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Departments of Pediatric SurgerySri Ramachandra UniversityChennaiIndia
  3. 3.Departments of Pediatric Hemato-OncologySri Ramachandra UniversityChennaiIndia
  4. 4.Department of NeurologyBoston Children’s Hospital, BostonMassachusettsUSA
  5. 5.Pediatric Hemato-OncologySri Ramachandra UniversityChennaiIndia

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