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Propranolol for the Treatment of Orbital Infantile Hemangiomas

Fridman, Gretta M.D.*; Grieser, Eric M.D.; Hill, Robert M.D.; Khuddus, Nausheen M.D.; Bersani, Tom M.D.; Slonim, Charles M.D., F.A.C.S.*

Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: May-June 2011 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 190-194
doi: 10.1097/IOP.0b013e318201d344
Original Investigations

Purpose: To evaluate the treatment of orbital infantile hemangiomas with systemic (oral) propranolol.

Methods: This study was a retrospective observational case series of 5 infants who were diagnosed with orbital infantile hemangiomas between March and July of 2009.

Results: The average age at presentation was 3.1 months (3 weeks to 9 months). The patients received oral propranolol, with dosage varying among study centers. The patients were treated for an average of 7.1 months. Treatment of 5 infantile hemangioma patients with oral propranolol produced a significant reduction in the size of the hemangioma in 4 (80%) of the patients and a minimal improvement in one patient. No patient had significant adverse events during the treatment period.

Conclusion: Oral propranolol may be an effective treatment for orbital infantile hemangiomas.

Systemic propranolol may be an effective treatment for infantile hemangioma of the eyelids and orbits.

*Department of Ophthalmology, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa; †Department of Ophthalmology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida; and ‡Department of Ophthalmology, State University of New York Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, New York, U.S.A.

Accepted for publication September 12, 2010.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Charles Slonim, M.D., University of South Florida Eye Institute, 13127 USF Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612. E-mail:

©2011The American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Inc.