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Propranolol For Use In Proliferating Infantile Hemangiomas, A Dossier Assessment

Recently the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) conducted a dossier assessment study on propranolol’s use in infants with proliferating infantile hemangiomas (also known as “strawberry marks” or “stork bites”). The study concluded that there is a major benefit in some patients, especially those at high risk of permanent scarring or disfigurement, but failed to show proven benefit (due to lack of data) in those children with functional impairment or life-threatening hemangiomas that did not respond to traditional wound care.

Known risk factors for the development of infantile hemangiomas are: females (female to male ratio of 2.4:1), Caucasians, low birth weight, and children of multiple gestations.

Propranolol is a beta blocker approved by the FDA in April 2014 for the treatment of proliferating infantile hemangiomas in infants who were between 5 weeks and 5 months of age at the start of treatment.

The goal for the study was assessment of resolution of the hemangioma. The study indicated a major added benefit for “complete or nearly complete resolution of the visible component of the target hemangioma” in patients at risk of permanent scarring or disfigurement who may also benefit from a “watch and wait” approach. Potential negative effects were classified as non-serious and mainly consisted of “infections and infestations” and diarrhea. The original study may be viewed at:

By: John V. Notabartolo. MPAS, PA-C; Chair, Media Relations Committee; SDPA Diplomate, Past President

[Image: Wikimedia Commons, user: Zeimusu]

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