We describe outcome at 5-7 years of 37 subjects with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL). Children were divided into 3 groups based on PVL type and clinical outcome. Subjects with cystic PVL > or = 5 mm-1 cm or more (n = 14) all developed CP. CP was found in only 2 subjects out of 11 with cystic PVL < 5 mm. One had GII < 70 according to McCarthy's Scales of Children's abilities. Mild neurological signs were present in 7 and 1 child was normal. Subjects with so-called "prolonged flare" (n = 12) included 6 CP cases, 4 with mild neurological signs and 2 normal subjects. Prognosis was related to site and number of cysts. Cognitive profiles tended to be disharmonic, with discrepancies between verbal, performance and motor scores. We conclude that PVL represents an important diagnostic tool in both short and long-term neurodevelopmental outcome.
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