Could propranolol be beneficial in adult cerebral cavernous malformations?

  • Caroline ApraEmail author
  • Chloé Dumot
  • Pierre Bourdillon
  • Isabelle Pelissou-Guyotat
Short Review


Surgery is the only therapeutic option for cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) and is proposed, whenever possible, after haemorrhagic events, neurological symptoms, or epilepsy, radiosurgery being a controversial alternative in some cases. However, there is no treatment for non-accessible lesions, such as brainstem CCM, multiple CCM, or those located in functional areas. Propranolol, a non-selective beta-blocker used as first-line treatment for infantile haemangiomas, has proved spectacularly effective in a few cases of adult patients with CCM. We herein review the histological, in vitro data and clinical findings that support the idea of propranolol as a potential treatment for CCM. Since one retrospective study has not been conclusive, we support the idea that prospective trials are necessary.


Cavernomas Cavernous malformations Cavernous angiomas Cavernous haemangiomas Beta-blocker 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participant or animals and complies with French ethical standards.

Informed consent

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors. This article has never been published or presented previously.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sorbonne Université, Université Pierre et Marie CurieParisFrance
  2. 2.Brain and Spine Institute, INSERM U1127, CNRS, UMR7225ParisFrance
  3. 3.Hospices Civils de Lyon, Neurology & Neurosurgery Hospital Pierre Wertheimer, Department of NeurosurgeryLyonFrance
  4. 4.University of Lyon, Université Claude BernardLyonFrance

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