The use of propranolol in the management of periocular capillary haemangioma--a systematic review

Eye (Lond). 2011 Oct;25(10):1277-83. doi: 10.1038/eye.2011.164. Epub 2011 Jul 8.


Capillary haemangioma or infantile haemangioma (IH) is the most common congenital vascular tumour in the periocular region. Several treatment modalities have been documented, with variable degree of success. Propranolol has recently been reported to be an effective and safe alternative. The aim of this systematic review is to examine the evidence base for the use of propranolol administered orally in the management of periocular capillary haemangioma, and use this information to guide future research. A systematic review of literature was carried out by two independent reviewers using the search strategies highlighted below. A total of 100 cases of oral propranolol use in periorbital or orbital capillary haemangiomas have been documented in the literature. Of the 85 cases that had details of previous treatment, it was used as first-line treatment in 50 (58.8%). The commonest dose used was 2 mg/kg/day. Adverse events were documented in one-third of cases; in most cases these were minor. Improvement or complete resolution of the lesions occurred in 96% of cases. Recurrence was noted in one-fifth of cases. Propranolol has shown a lot of promise in the therapy of IH and further research in the form of properly designed randomized trials is certainly warranted. Treatment guidelines based on literature available to date is included in this review.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Progression
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Hemangioma, Capillary / congenital
  • Hemangioma, Capillary / drug therapy*
  • Hemangioma, Capillary / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Orbital Neoplasms / congenital
  • Orbital Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Orbital Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Propranolol / administration & dosage
  • Propranolol / adverse effects
  • Propranolol / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Propranolol