Initial experience using propranolol as the sole treatment for infantile airway hemangiomas

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2010 Mar;74(3):323-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2009.12.008. Epub 2010 Jan 13.


The objective of this study is to describe the initial use of propranolol as the sole treatment for focal infantile airway hemangiomas, and to report on available literature describing the use of propranolol for airway lesions. This retrospective case series was carried out at a tertiary pediatric medical center. We obtained the following results: two children demonstrated significant response to oral propranolol therapy and avoided not only invasive surgical procedures, but also long-term administration of oral corticosteroids. This is the first report of treating infantile airway hemangiomas with only propranolol without additional surgical intervention or corticosteroid use. Review of literature reveals initial case series with similar, successful results using propranolol as an adjuvant treatment along with other medications and surgical interventions. We conclude that the initial use of propranolol as the sole treatment for infantile airway hemangioma is promising. Literature review reveals that propranolol as the sole treatment for most head and neck hemangiomas shows significant promise based on early case reports. Further studies are needed to determine the long-term effectiveness, dosing strategies, and side effect profile of propranolol treatment for hemangiomas.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Hemangioma / drug therapy*
  • Hemangioma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Propranolol / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tracheal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Tracheal Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Propranolol