Diagnosis and evolution of periventricular leukomalacia: a study with real-time ultrasound

Early Hum Dev. 1984 Feb;9(2):105-9. doi: 10.1016/0378-3782(84)90090-2.


Periventricular leukomalacia is an ischemic lesion in periventricular white matter of premature infants. Hemorrhage into the ischemic area occurs in up to 25% of cases. We report two cases in which the diagnosis of periventricular leukomalacia was made during life with real-time ultrasound scanning. In one case, serial scans demonstrated the evolution of echodense regions, observed in the first 3 days of life, to cystic echolucent areas at 4 weeks. In the second case, periventricular echodense areas did not precede the occurrence of cystic echolucent lesions. This may reflect a more chronic ischemic cerebral insult (consistent with recurrent apnea and bradycardia) rather than a presumed acute episode of cerebral ischemia (with or without secondary hemorrhage) sustained by the first case. Real-time ultrasound scanning is a simple, non-invasive technique with which to document the evolution of periventricular leukomalacia, and thus to define the clinical neurological correlates in the neonatal period.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Ultrasonography*