Br J Ophthalmol 95:1199-1202 doi:10.1136/bjo.2010.192245
  • Review

The use of propranolol in the treatment of periocular infantile haemangiomas: a review

  1. C Decock1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium
  2. 2Department of Dermatology, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium
  3. 3Department of Pediatrics, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ilse Claerhout, Department of Ophthalmology, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, Gent 9000, Belgium; ilse.claerhout{at}
  • Accepted 28 October 2010
  • Published Online First 3 December 2010


Infantile haemangiomas (IH) are benign vascular tumours characterised by their very rapid growth. Although usually innocuous, periocular IH can cause serious visual loss through induction of strabismic, deprivational or anisometropic astigmatism. Common treatment modalities for these IH include intralesional and systemic oral steroids; however, both treatments are associated with potentially severe side effects. A report was published recently demonstrating the impressive effect of propranolol in the treatment of IH. This exciting finding has provoked a paradigm shift in the management of this condition. So far little has been reported in the specific ophthalmologic literature, although case reports are emerging. This review gives an overview of the recent findings and includes the authors' experience with 10 patients treated with propranol.


  • Funding None.

  • Competing interests None to declare.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Ethics Committee of the Ghent University Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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