Infantile haemangioma

Lancet. 2017 Jul 1;390(10089):85-94. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00645-0. Epub 2017 Jan 13.


With a prevalence of 4·5%, infantile haemangiomas are the most common benign tumours of infancy, arising in the first few weeks of life and exhibiting a characteristic sequence of growth and spontaneous involution. Most infantile haemangiomas do not require therapy. However, to identify at-risk haemangiomas, close follow-up is crucial in the first weeks of life; 80% of all haemangiomas reach their final size by 3 months of age. The main indications for treatment are life-threatening infantile haemangioma (causing heart failure or respiratory distress), tumours posing functional risks (eg, visual obstruction, amblyopia, or feeding difficulties), ulceration, and severe anatomic distortion, especially on the face. Oral propranolol is now the first-line treatment, which should be administered as early as possible to avoid potential complications. Haemangioma shrinkage is rapidly observed with oral propranolol, but a minimum of 6 months of therapy is recommended.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Heart Failure / etiology
  • Hemangioma / drug therapy*
  • Hemangioma / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Propranolol / therapeutic use*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / etiology
  • Skin Ulcer / etiology


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Propranolol