Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Periventricular Leukomalacia

  • Hien Nguyen
  • Amit X. MalhotraEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1583


Cerebral leukencephalopathy; Encephalopathy of prematurity; Perinatal panencephalopathy; Periventricular white matter change

Short Description

Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is the predominant pattern of neurologic injury found in preterm and low birth weight infants. PVL is traditionally described as focal areas of cystic necrosis of periventricular white matter with histological findings of loss of pre-oligodendrocytes (Pre-OLs), astrogliosis, and microglial activation. This pattern of injury has altered with changes in medical care towards a more diffuse distribution of microcystic lesions along the cerebral white matter. These changes in cerebral structure have been associated with numerous clinical symptoms, including cerebral palsy, visual dysfunction, and cognitive impairment. In more recent years, with greater MRI scanning, there has been greater recognition of clinically silent PVL.


PVL has two overlapping forms: cystic and non-cystic. In cystic...

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Copyright information

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsKaiser Permanente East BayOaklandUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric Specialty, Division of NeurologyTPMG, Kaiser Permanente East Bay Medical CenterOaklandUSA