Treatment of hemangiomas of infants with high doses of prednisone

J Pediatr. 1996 Jan;128(1):141-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(96)70446-8.


Objective: We reviewed our experience with the use of oral corticosteroid therapy in treating hemangiomas of infants to determine the optimal effective dose.

Study design: During a 24-year period, 60 infants with hemangiomas were treated with an initial dose of either 3 or 5 mg/kg per day of orally administered prednisone for a period ranging from 6 to 12 weeks. Involution of the hemangioma and re-growth. were monitored.

Results: Overall, excellent and rapid results were achieved in 68% of infants and good results occurred in 25%. In 7% treatment was deemed to have failed. Forty-seven of 60 patients received one course of therapy, 8 received 2 courses, and 5 required 3 courses. An initial dose of 5 mg/kg per day oral prednisone therapy was more effective than 3 mg/kg per day. Side effects were not serious and resolved after discontinuation of therapy.

Conclusions: High oral doses of corticosteroids (5 mg/kg per day prednisone) provide an effective, rapid, and safe modality of treatment of hemangiomas of infants. We recommend that treatment continue for 6 to 8 weeks, and in more severe cases for as long as 12 weeks.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Hemangioma / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage*
  • Prednisone / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Prednisone