The effectiveness of the different pharmacological agents and different doses of systemic corticosteroids was analyzed. A total of 1109 patients (median age 8 months; F/M 2.3) with hemangioma, followed up in our unit for 23 years, were evaluated retrospectively. Forty-five of them received systemic corticosteroids. Two different pharmacological agents, prednisolone (in 26 patients) and methyl prednisolone (in 19 patients), had been used in three different regimens. Groups were compared according to the final results and rebound regrowth. Response was considered good or excellent in 16 patients (36%). There were no differences in response to therapy among the three regimens. No difference was found in response to therapy between prednisolone and methylprednisolone and the two different doses of the methylprednisolone. Rebound regrowth was significantly higher in methyl prednisolone than in the prednisolone group (p = .045). In multivariate analysis the dimension of the lesion (p = .0065) and age at initiation of treatment (p = .0041) were the most important factors affecting the response. In conclusion, the systemic corticosteroids are effective in 36% of patients, independent of dosage and pharmacological agents and duration of the therapy. The dimension of the lesion and age at initiation of treatment are the most important factors affecting the response to treatment.