Cerebral visual impairment in periventricular leukomalacia: MR correlation

Carla Uggetti, Maria Grazia Egitto, Elisa Fazzi, Pier Emilio Bianchi, Roberta Bergamaschi, Federico Zappoli, Luisella Sibilla, Adelaide Martelli, Giovanni Lanzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To evaluate the involvement of central visual pathways in cases of periventricular leukomalacia, and to correlate the neuroradiologic findings with the degree of visual acuity. METHODS: The MR brain examinations of 27 preterm children affected by cerebral palsy resulting from periventricular leukomalacia and without significant ophthalmologic lesions were reviewed retrospectively to search for possible involvement of the optic radiations and/or of the calcarine cortex. The data were compared with the degree of visual acuity estimated by means of the Teller Acuity Cards test. RESULTS: Seventeen (63%) of the 27 patients had cerebral visual impairment, which correlated strongly with ME lesions. Quantitative reduction and signal hyperintensity of the peritrigonal white matter and atrophy of the calcarine cortex were present in the more severe cases. In two blind patients, an altered MR signal was detected in the lateral geniculate bodies. CONCLUSION: This study clearly establishes a relationship between specific MR findings and visual impairment in children with periventricular leukomalacia. The finding of hyperintensity in the lateral geniculate bodies was interpreted as an axonal reaction. MR imaging is useful for detecting potential visual impairment and for improving clinical diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-985
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Brain, magnetic resonance
  • Pediatric neuroradiology
  • Periventricular leukomalacia
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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