Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL)

Symptoms

There are a few telltale signs that your child may have this birth disorder, which can lead to CP. Unfortunately, the thing that makes this even more dangerous comes from the fact that infants often do not show any signs. It is not always easy to detect. Some signs that may occur include:

  • Vision problems
  • Cognitive disability
  • Difficulty in coordination
  • Hearing impairment

What Can Cause This?

Children born prematurely, especially 32 weeks before the gestation period will be at an increased risk of this. Cell damage to the tissue of the brain and decreased blood flow are both primary causes of this condition. Premature infants are at an increased risk of death if they develop this condition.

There are also other risk factors that can increase your child’s risk of developing this condition such as umbilical cord inflammation, antepartum hemorrhage, chorioamnionitis, having twins, lack of oxygen, and infection inside the uterus.

How Do They Treat This Condition?

Should the doctor suspect that your child has PVL, your doctor will most likely choose to perform a series of developments. This ensures an accurate diagnosis. Some of the things that they might perform include a cranial ultrasound. They may not detect it. When it comes to treatment, it depends on the severity of this birth injury.

Some of the treatments include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Speech therapy

For a child with vision problems, the doctor might also recommend that your child undergo corrective vision treatment.

Research in this field continues to develop in an effort to better understand it. If you have discovered that your child has this condition, you may choose to participate in clinical trials. Your doctor may help you find an applicable clinical trial. You can also research yourself to search for you. The advantage of participating in one of these trials is that you will be helping to advance medical research so that they can eventually find a cure. In addition, your child may also have access to treatments that would not be otherwise available.  The prognosis for periventricular leukomalacia will largely depend on the severity of it. You might have one child that only has a mild case of it, and another child may be left with a lifetime disability.

Editor

Elena Amato Borrelli, Expert

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Expert

Elena Amato Borrelli, Expert

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Article Citations

  1. Periventricular Leukomalacia Symptoms and Causes, Boston Children's Hospital
  2. Periventricular Leukomalacia, Medline Plus