Outpatient use of oral propranolol and topical timolol for infantile hemangiomas: Survey results and comparison with propranolol consensus statement guidelines

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Abstract

Oral and topical β-blockers are used to treat infantile hemangiomas (IHs). Although a recent consensus report provided guidelines for the treatment of IH with propranolol, there are no standard guidelines for the use of topical timolol. The objectives of this study were to determine the current use of oral propranolol and topical timolol by pediatric dermatologists in an outpatient setting and to compare current propranolol use with published propranolol consensus guidelines. An electronic survey was sent to pediatric dermatologists in May and June 2013. One hundred forty-nine pediatric dermatologists responded to the survey, a 79% response rate. Of the respondents, 96% prescribed oral propranolol, but 75% did not follow consensus guidelines exactly; recommended history, physical examination, initial dose, and frequency varied. The dose of propranolol was usually titrated up to goal dose as recommended (89%). Fifty-six percent monitored vital signs in patients after the initial dose and 49% continued to monitor vital signs in their clinic after each dose escalation, which did not meet consensus guideline recommendations. Ninety-one percent reported using topical timolol for the treatment of IH and 66% responded they had used topical timolol in conjunction with oral propranolol to treat IH. The most common indication was superficial hemangiomas (97%). Most practitioners (74%) did not routinely monitor heart rate or blood pressure in infants treated with topical timolol. This study highlights the variability in prescribing and monitoring practices of physicians using propranolol for the treatment of IHs and demonstrates that topical timolol is commonly used alone and in conjunction with oral propranolol to treat IHs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Dermatology
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

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