Pediatric Periventricular Leukomalacia Follow-up

Updated: Jan 15, 2015
  • Author: Terence Zach, MD; Chief Editor: Ted Rosenkrantz, MD  more...
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Further Outpatient Care

Developmental follow-up: Premature infants with evidence of periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) require close developmental follow-up because of the high association with cerebral palsy (CP).

Early intervention strategies carried out by occupational therapists or physical therapists may decrease symptoms and may increase the infant's motor function.



Prevention of premature birth is the most important means of preventing periventricular leukomalacia.

Prior to birth, diagnosing and managing chorioamnionitis may prevent periventricular leukomalacia. In 1999, Baud et al reported that betamethasone administered to mothers at 24-31 weeks' gestation, before delivery, significantly reduced the risk of periventricular leukomalacia, suggesting the possible effect of steroids on fetal inflammatory response. [16, 17]

Avoiding maternal cocaine abuse and avoiding maternal-fetal blood flow alterations has been suggested to minimize periventricular leukomalacia.

Following delivery of a premature infant, attempts to minimize blood pressure (BP) swings and hypotension may also be beneficial in preventing periventricular leukomalacia.

Avoidance of prolonged hypocarbia in the mechanically ventilated premature infant may be useful in the prevention of periventricular leukomalacia.