St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Periventricular leukomalacia

    PVL; Brain injury - infants

    Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is a type of brain injury that affects infants. The condition involves the death of small areas of brain tissue around fluid-filled areas called ventricles. The damage creates "holes" in the brain. "Leuko" refers to the brain's white matter and "periventricular" refers to thearea around the ventricles.

    Causes

    PVL is much more common in premature infants than in full-term infants.

    A major cause is thought to be changes in blood flow to the area around the ventricles of the brain. This area is fragile and prone to injury, especially before 32 weeks of gestation.

    Infection around the time of delivery may also play a role in causing PVL. The more premature your baby is and the sicker your baby is, the higher the risk for PVL.

    Premature babies who have intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) are also at increased risk for developing this condition.

    Exams and Tests

    Tests used to diagnose PVL include ultrasound and MRI of the head.

    Treatment

    There is no treatment for PVL. The baby's heart, lung, intestine, and kidney functions will be monitored and treated so they remain as normal as possible.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    PVLoftenleads to nervous system and developmental problems in growing babies, usually during the first to second year of life. It may cause cerebral palsy (CP), especially tightness, or increased muscle tone (spasticity) in the legs.

    Babies with PVL are at risk for major nervous system problems, especially involving movements such as sitting, crawling, walking, and moving the arms. These babies may need physical therapy.

    A baby who is diagnosed with PVL should be monitored by a developmental pediatrician or a pediatric neurologist, in addition to the child's regular pediatrician.

    References

    Volpe JJ. Neurology of the Newborn. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008; chap 8.

    BACK TO TOP

          Review Date: 11/14/2011

          Reviewed By: Kimberly G Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
          adam.com

          A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


          Back  |  Top
          About Us
          Contact Us
          History
          Mission
          Locations & Directions
          Quality Reports
          Annual Reports
          Honors & Awards
          Community Health Needs
          Assessment

          Newsroom
          Services
          Brain & Spine
          Cancer
          Heart
          Maternity
          Orthopedics
          Pulmonary
          Sleep Medicine
          Urgent Care
          Women's Services
          All Services
          Patients & Visitors
          Locations & Directions
          Find a Physician
          Tour St. Luke's
          Patient & Visitor Information
          Contact Us
          Payment Options
          Financial Assistance
          Send a Card
          Mammogram Appointments
          Health Tools
          My Personal Health
          mystlukes
          Spirit of Women
          Health Information & Tools
          Clinical Trials
          Health Risk Assessments
          Employer Programs -
          Passport to Wellness

          Classes & Events
          Classes & Events
          Spirit of Women
          Donate & Volunteer
          Giving Opportunities
          Volunteer
          Physicians & Employees
          For Physicians
          Remote Access
          Medical Residency Information
          Pharmacy Residency Information
          Physician CPOE Training
          Careers
          Careers
          St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
          Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile