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PVL; Brain injury - infants
Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is a type of brain injury that affects infants. The condition involves the death of small areas of brain tissue around fluid-filled areas called ventricles. The damage creates "holes" in the brain. "Leuko" refers to the brain's white matter and "peri" refers to the ventricles.
PVL is much more common in premature infants than in full-term infants.
A major cause is thought to be changes in blood flow to the area around the ventricles of the brain. This area is fragile and prone to injury, especially before 32 weeks of gestation.
Infection around the time of delivery may also play a role in causing PVL. The more premature your baby is and the sicker your baby is, the higher the risk for PVL.
Premature babies who have intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) are also at increased risk for developing this condition.
Volpe JJ. Neurology of the Newborn. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008; chap 8.
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