Propranolol for infantile hemangioma: Evaluating efficacy and predictors of response and rebound growth

Nadav Pam, Khalaf Kridin, Ziad Khamaysi

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13 Scopus citations


Propranolol emerged as the first-line therapy for infantile hemangioma (IH). Determinants of interindividual variation in drug response and predictors of rebound growth after drug discontinuation are yet to be firmly established. We aimed to evaluate the outcomes of a relatively large cohort of patients with IH treated by propranolol and to determine predictors of (a) an excellent response to treatment (≥90 improvement) and (b) of rebound growth after drug cessation. A retrospective cohort study was conducted to follow all patients with IH receiving systemic propranolol in a referral center-based specialized clinic. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of excellent response and rebound growth. The study included 206 patients who completed oral propranolol treatment. The mean (SD) age in which the drug was initiated was 4.8 (3.1) months. The average improvement rate was estimated at 85.5 (13.8)%. Initiation of propranolol at the age of 0 to 3 (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 3.43; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25-9.40; P =.016) and 3 to 6 (adjusted OR, 3.71; 95% CI, 1.50-9.19; P =.005) months was associated with an increased likelihood of excellent response. Twenty-four (11.7%) patients developed rebound growth following cessation of propranolol. No significant predictors of rebound were identified in the multivariate analysis. Eleven (5.3%) patients experienced mild adverse events, which necessitated drug discontinuation in only two (1.0%) patients. Propranolol is highly effective and safe based on the real-life experience of a referral center for IH. The current study supports early initiation of propranolol.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14936
JournalDermatologic Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2021

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  • infantile hemangioma
  • late infancy
  • post proliferative
  • propranolol


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