Periventricular leukomalasia (PVL) is a type of brain injury involving an ischemic infarction (inadequate blood circulation) of the white matter of the brain adjacent to the lateral ventricles. Peri means near; ventricular refers to the ventricles or fluid spaces of the brain, leukomalasia is softening of the white matter of the brain. The softening occurs because brain tissue in this area has died. Since PVL results in the loss of vital areas of neural tissue, particularly motor fibers that control muscle movements, cerebral palsy (CP) develops in most cases. It is likely to be of a moderate to severe degree and either spastic diplegia or spastic quadriplegia, with the legs more involved than the upper extremities. Mild to severe mental retardation may occur, but some children with PVL and spastic CP have normal intelligence. Visual impairment is also possible if the injury involves the occipital region. Seizure disorders may occur, but are not commonly associated with PVL.
- Eric's PVL by Cynthia Bissell
- Eric's MRI image
- PVL FAQ by Jane E. Brazy, MD., Neonatologist, University of Wisconsin and The Center For Perinatal Care at Meriter Hospital Madison, Wisconsin
- Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL) by Dr. Nathan, Premature Baby Resource Center at BabyZone.com
- PVL Support Group at Yahoo! Groups