(Received 30 March 1984; accepted 8 February 1984)
Published Online: October
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Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is a form of cerebral infarction occurring in neonates, particularly in low-weight and premature infants. PVL is well-known to neonatologists, but generally considered nonfatal. Many infants with PVL die in the hospital with multiple medical problems. Those infants with PVL who survive because of intensive care will have serious motor and sensory deficits, but these problems are rarely recognized before one year of age. When infants with PVL die at home, death seems sudden and unexpected. However, it is important to distinguish death caused by PVL from the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome because the implications for the family are quite different. This case report emphasizes that PVL may be fatal.
Deputy medical examiner, Los Angeles Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office, Los Angeles, CA
Stock #: JFS11072J