Visual and neurological outcome of infants with periventricular leukomalacia

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1989 Jun;31(3):353-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1989.tb04004.x.


Visual acuity, visual fields and neurological status were assessed in 10 infants with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), tested at 16, 36, 48 and 72 weeks from the expected date of confinement. Monocular acuity development was normal in eight of the 10 infants, but was below normal in one infant at eight months and in another at 18 months. Over half the infants tested at 16, 36 and 48 weeks had smaller visual fields than those of 95 per cent of healthy preterm infants tested at the same ages, but by 72 weeks only two of six infants tested had restricted visual fields. Nine of the 10 infants were neurologically abnormal at ages under one year, but only four remained so beyond one year. These results indicate more favourable outcomes for visual acuity and neurological status in infants with non-cavitary PVL than have been reported in infants with cavitary PVL. The most compromised infants were one with cavitary PVL and another with extensive non-cavitary PVL who had the longest-lasting EEG abnormalities of all 10 infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Brain / pathology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Encephalomalacia / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leukomalacia, Periventricular / physiopathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Visual Acuity*
  • Visual Fields*