3 years ago

Clinical and economic impact of surgery for treating infantile hemangiomas in the era of propranolol: overview of single-center experience from La Paz Hospital, Madrid

Juan-Carlos López-Gutiérrez


Propranolol has changed the management of infantile hemangiomas (IHs). We summarize the evolution of surgical treatment for IH at La Paz Children’s Hospital (Madrid) in the era of propranolol, with a focus on hepatic IHs.

Retrospectively, we compared surgical treatment of IHs in children referred during the periods 2004–2009 and 2009–2014. Hepatic IH mortality rates before and after the introduction of propranolol therapy were evaluated specifically.

The majority of hemangiomas needing surgical excision were located on the head/face/scalp of female patients. Since the introduction of propranolol therapy, surgery for IH has decreased from about 60 to 6 procedures/year at our institution and no transplants for hepatic IH have been registered.

Conclusions: Surgical procedures for IH have decreased by about 90% at our institution since the introduction of propranolol treatment and hepatic IH have not needed liver transplantation. Referrals for surgery for IH are generally the consequence of absent or delayed propranolol treatment. Given the significant reduction in the number of surgical procedures, propranolol can be considered as having a strong economic and social impact.

What is Known:
The use of oral propranolol solution is currently considered as the treatment of choice in the management of infantile hemangiomas.
Propranolol treatment achieves better outcomes and less side effects than systemic corticosteroids.
What is New:
Social and financial impact of the significant reduction in the number of reconstructive surgical procedures and liver transplants due to the use of propranolol in tertiary health institutions remains to be analyzed.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00431-018-3290-z

DOI: 10.1007/s00431-018-3290-z

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