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Propranolol for treatment of haemangioma in children: a preliminary experience in Benin City

HK Odion-Obomhense
TO Osagie
EO Udefiagbon
OD Odifo


Background: Haemangiomas are common benign tumour of infancy affecting 1-2.6% infants. Few researches have been carried out on the effectiveness and safety of propranolol in the management of haemagioma in sub-Saharan Africa.
Aim: This prospective study was designed to assess the efficacy and safety of propranolol in the treatment of haemangioma in children.
Methods: A two-year (July 2012-June 2014) prospective study was undertaken at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital. Children diagnosed with haemangioma were included in treatment protocol of 12wks oral propanolol at 2mg/kg, 48 hrs hospitalization to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, hypoglycaemia and tumour size/colour and consistency.
Results: A total of 8 children aged between 2 months and 8 years (median 5 months), comprising 6 females and 2 males were included. Six (75%) completed propranolol therapy while two (25%), both females with chest and abdominal lesions respectively, had surgical excision due to bleeding complication. Of the six, diffuse face and neck involvement were recorded in 2 (33%) while other sites were eyelid, nose, chest and scalp accounting for a patient (16%) each. Four (67%) were carvernous haemangioma while 2 (33%) were a mixture of carvernous and capillary haemangioma. Their sizes ranged from 1x1cm to 7x4cm in diameter. Reduction in size/colour and relief of respiratory obstruction in a child were noticed within 2 wks on propranolol and remarkable resolution between 8-10 weeks with no adverse effects recorded.

Conclusion: Oral propranolol was found effective and safe in the treatment of infantile haemangioma in this sub-Saharan African subregion.

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eISSN: 1596-6569