Current trends in medical management of infantile hemangioma

Julie A. Ames, Jonathan M Sykes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Infantile hemangiomas are the most common benign, soft-tissue tumors of infancy, affecting between 5 and 10% of newborns, and up to 30% of premature infants. Morbidity may include disfigurement and scarring, difficulty in feeding, ulceration, vision loss, airway compromise, congestive heart failure, and death. Advances in understanding the pathogenesis of infantile hemangiomas have given rise to a number of promising treatments. This article reviews the current options for medical management of infantile hemangiomas. Recent findings In the proliferative phase of infantile hemangiomas, vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor have shown increased expression, and vascular endothelial growth factor expression has been up-regulated by adrenergic stimulation. Moreover, the role of the renin-angiotensin system in the pathogenesis of infantile hemangiomas has been demonstrated. Numerous medical options have been under investigation. Since 2008, propanolol has become the first-line therapy, whereas other medical treatments are used less frequently or when propanolol is unsuccessful. Summary Propranolol has been recently adopted as the first-line medical treatment for complicated infantile hemangiomas. Although emerging treatment options and modalities have shown promising results, there need to be high-quality multicenter randomized trials to support these preliminary data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-291
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Angiogenesis/vasculogenesis
  • Beta-blockers
  • Biology
  • Gene expression
  • Glucocorticosteroids
  • Infantile hemangioma
  • Medical management
  • Propranolol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery


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