Visual and perceptual characteristics, ocular motility and strabismus in children with periventricular leukomalacia

Strabismus. 2002 Jun;10(2):179-83. doi: 10.1076/stra.


The immature visual system is vulnerable to adverse events. Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), an end-stage lesion after hypoxia-ischemia at gestational age 24-34 weeks affecting the visual radiation, has become a principal cause of visual impairment in children. Cerebral visual dysfunction caused by PVL is characterized by delayed visual maturation, subnormal visual acuity, crowding, visual field defects, and visual perceptual-cognitive problems. Magnetic resonance imaging is the method of choice for diagnosing this brain lesion, which is associated with optic disk abnormalities, strabismus, nystagmus, and deficient visually guided eye movements. Children with PVL may present to the ophthalmologist within a clinical spectrum from severe visual impairment in combination with cerebral palsy to only early-onset esotropia, normal intellectual level and no cerebral palsy. Optimal educational and habilitational strategies need to be developed to meet the needs for this group of children.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leukomalacia, Periventricular / complications*
  • Leukomalacia, Periventricular / diagnosis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / diagnosis
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / etiology*
  • Perceptual Disorders / diagnosis
  • Perceptual Disorders / etiology*
  • Strabismus / diagnosis
  • Strabismus / etiology*
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis
  • Vision Disorders / etiology*
  • Visual Acuity*