What is it?

PVL is a type of brain injury most commonly experienced by very premature babies.

PVL is an injury to the white matter surrounding the brain's fluid-filled ventricles. The white matter of the brain transmits information between nerve cells, the spinal cord, and from one part of the brain to another.

Low birthweight, very premature babies are at a higher risk of PVL. As a result of premature birth, it is the second most common complication affecting the central nervous system.

1 Alikes with Periventricular leukomalacia

Learn from others
who are experiencing
Periventricular leukomalacia.

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Periventricular Leukomalacia

Signs & symptoms

The most common symptoms of PVL are:

Having difficulty seeing and moving your eyes

Muscle tightness and difficulty moving

Delays in development that become more apparent over time


In the first few days of life, newborns may not show symptoms of PVL. Since premature infants are at an increased risk of developing the condition, doctors may perform the following diagnostic tests:

The cranial ultrasound uses sound waves to visualize the baby's brain through the soft spot on top of the head (fontanel).

A magnetic field and radio waves are used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to produce a detailed image of the brain without exposing the infant to x-rays. An MRI shows the affected infant's brain to have PVL.


Despite the fact that PVL is not treatable, we may recommend alternative forms of care for your child, including:


An occupational therapist

A speech-language pathologist can help

Physiotherapy for the eyes

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

Alike Wisdom

Instantly get answers to medical questions with our AI, built from the collective wisdom of our community facing similar experiences

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Find people who are
experiencing a similar
medical reality

100% Free