What is periventricular leukomalacia (PVL)?

Lateral Ventricles | Neonatal BrainPeriventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is a type of brain injury caused by the following two factors:

  1. Decreased oxygen and blood flow to the periventricular region of the brain
  2. Damage to the cells that make up most of the white matter in the brain.

Typically, the injury is characterized by an ischemic infarction (inadequate blood circulation) in the white matter of the brain next to the lateral ventricles. Peri means near, ventricular refers to the ventricles or fluid spaces of the brain, and leukomalacia refers to the softening of the white matter of the brain. The softening occurs because brain tissue in this area has died.

Can Periventricular Leukomalacia Cause Cerebral Palsy?

Since PVL results in the loss of vital areas of brain tissue, particularly motor fibers that control muscle movements, cerebral palsy (CP) usually develops in children with periventricular leukomalacia. Cerebral palsy caused by PVL is likely to be of a moderate to severe degree and classified as either spastic diplegia or spastic quadriplegia, with the legs more involved than the upper extremities. Mild to severe intellectual disability may occur, but some children with PVL and spastic cerebral palsy 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.

hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; HIE; birth asphyxia; neonatal encephalopathy; periventricular leukomalacia; PVL; white matter damage


Video: Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL)


Legal Help for Children with PVL and Cerebral Palsy from Medical Malpractice

Legal Help for Children with PVL and Cerebral Palsy from Medical MalpracticeReiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers’ attorneys have decades of experience handling birth injury cases, and many of our cases directly handle cerebral palsy, PVL, infant brain damage, and birth trauma cases. We encourage you to read more about some of our specific multi-million dollar birth injury cases in our verdicts and settlements section.

For a free case review and legal consultation, please contact the birth injury attorneys on our legal team today. You can call our office toll-free at 888-419-2229, fill out this online contact form, or press the Live Chat button on your screen.


What Is Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL)?

For more info on PVL, visit our main PVL page here