Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is a form of brain injury that can occur in the period before a baby’s anticipated due date.


It is characterized by injury to the white matter surrounding the brain’s fluid-filled ventricles. White matter is responsible for the exchange of information and communication between different brain regions and is found throughout the central and peripheral nervous system. PVL can occur following bleeding inside the brain, infection, or premature rupture of uterine membranes. Babies diagnosed with PVL are more likely to develop cerebral palsy, a learning disability, or other developmental delay. Cranial ultrasound and MRI can aid in the diagnosis of this condition.


There is no treatment for PVL, and prognosis is dependent on the severity of white matter injury. Physical, occupational, speech-language and vision therapies may somewhat ameliorate symptoms associated with PVL. For information about the services available at Kennedy Krieger Institute, please call the number below or click the request an appointment button. 

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