Background: Oral propranolol is widely prescribed as first-line treatment for infantile haemangiomas (IHs). Anecdotally, prescribing practice differs widely between centres.
Objectives: The Propranolol In the Treatment of Complicated Haemangiomas (PITCH) Taskforce was founded to establish patterns of use of propranolol in IHs.
Methods: Participating centres entered data on all of their patients who had completed treatment with oral propranolol for IHs, using an online data capture tool.
Results: The study cohort comprised 1097 children from 39 centres in eight European countries. 76·1% were female and 92·8% had a focal IH, with the remainder showing a segmental, multifocal or indeterminate pattern. The main indications for treatment were periocular location (29·3%), risk of cosmetic disfigurement (21·1%) and ulceration and bleeding (20·6%). In total 69·2% of patients were titrated up to a maintenance regimen, which consisted of 2 mg kg(-1) per day (85·8%) in the majority of cases. 91·4% of patients had an excellent or good response to treatment. Rebound growth occurred in 14·1% upon stopping, of whom 53·9% were restarted and treatment response was recaptured in 91·6% of cases. While there was no significant difference in the treatment response, comparing a daily maintenance dose of < 2 mg kg(-1) vs. 2 mg kg(-1) vs. > 2 mg kg(-1) , the risk of adverse events was significantly higher: odds ratio (OR) 1 vs. adjusted OR 0·70, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·33-1·50, P = 0·36 vs. OR 2·38, 95% CI 1·04-5·46, P = 0·04, Ptrend < 0·001.
Conclusions: The PITCH survey summarizes the use of oral propranolol across 39 European centres, in a variety of IH phases, and could be used to inform treatment guidelines and the design of an interventional study.
© 2015 British Association of Dermatologists.