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Infantile Hemangiomas, Part 1: Treatment with Oral Propranolol Hydrochloride

Author(s):  Zur Eyal

Issue:  Sep/Oct 2011 - Volume 15, Number 5
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Note:  Electronic version includes supplemental material.

Abstract:  Infantile hemangiomas are the most common benign tumors of infancy. Although a well-known pathology with substantial medical experience, the etiology and pathogenesis of this disease is not exactly known. In most cases, the pathology regresses spontaneously around the age of 12 months without complications and without the need of medical treatment. However, sometimes the complications are severe and even life threatening, and medical intervention is mandatory. Until 2008, the first-line treatment of this pathology was primarily oral and topical corticosteroids, with suboptimal results and unpleasant side effects. The serendipitous discovery of the unusual effect of oral propranolol hydrochloride on infantile hemangiomas, causes a mini-revolution in the pediatric dermatology society world wide. Propranolol hydrochloride not only stopped the proliferative phase of the tumor but also resulted in a remarkable shrinkage and substantial improvement in the clinical parameters of the tumor, including life-threatening complications, with minimal side effects. In this article, the compounding pharmacist can learn comprehensively about this pathology, and about the current accumulative knowledge in the treatment of oral propranolol hydrochloride. Topical treatment with the use of beta blockers in the treatment of infantile hemangiomas is discussed in Part 2 of this article.

Related Keywords: Eyal Zur, RPh, MBA, infants, children, formulation, benign vascular tumor, propranolol hydrochloride, beta blocker, complications, skin disorders, PHACE syndrome, risk factors, adverse effects, angiogenesis, blood vessels, vasculogenesis, endothelial progenitor cell proliferation, lymphangioma, intractable diffuse lymphangiomatosis


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