Cerebral Palsy Community
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Avatar universal

Son with PVL

My son was born on August 11th at 27 weeks and weighed 2pounds 9.6 ounces. He was diagnosed with PVL so Sept. 20th. He has a 6mm cyst on the right side of his brain. He is breast feeding and has since the first time he tried. He now weighs 5lbs. 12 ounces. He tracks very well with his eyes and is very responsive to my wife's voice as well as mine. My question is are there grades or degrees of PVL and if so is there a direct link to how the child is effected? The doctor that read the MRI said the film looked "very good" but with PVL that seems to be all relative. I have read ALL the stats and and read all the "possible CP" garbage. What I am looking for is feedback from parents who have had PVL diagnosis of a 2 month old who was showing NO signs of anything and in fact doing GREAT and then thing either changed or they have a kiddo that has little to no effects of PVL (but, those folks are probably not searching for PVL questions. We are thankful for and excited about our son and want to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Please give me your feedback and stories you may have lived or heard. Thanks!
15 Responses
Avatar universal
I truly can relate to your question.
My daughter was born on 21st July 2008 at 30 weeks, also weighing 2lb 9oz. She was diagnosed with PVL five weeks later and has two cysts, one on the left, and one on the right, towards the back of her brain.
She too is feeding well, and is now 8lb 5oz.She is showing no signs of anything, has great eye-contact and hand-eye co-ordination.
In discussion with our Consultant, we are constantly being told that until she is 9-10 months old, nothing will be apparent.
I have spent hours on the net, but, as you say, it is all 'possible CP' etc.
Having lost a son due to prematurity last year, I am incredibly grateful for my daughter, and will take it all one day at a time. But I would like to hear about others and their experiences as right now, I feel very in the dark, and that is the scariest part.
Avatar universal
I have a ten year old son born 1 lb 13 oz at 26 weeks 4 days. He was agressively monitored in a Level 1 NICU in a respected major city hospital. After a few months, PVL was detected. He has cerebral palsy and ambulates with a walker or canes. He is, by all accounts, incredibly cute and very bright. He reads and reads and reads books at above grade level. He has so many friends and is loved by all. He is now discovering girls. Bottom Line: PVL is a **** shoot. TAKE EVERYDAY ONE DAY AT A TIME. Do not stress yourself with worrying about tomorrow. Do the best you can today.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for you words. Here is the update. He was graded with a PVL level I on the rear right side of his brain. He is doing GREAT!!! He is now 9 lbs 4 ozs at almost 5 months. He inch worms off of ANY blanket he is placed on in seconds. He rolls over belly to back and back to belly. We have a regular PT and OT and both say they cant find a single thing wrong. He wolds his pacifier to his mouth with either hand and he tracks great and smiles widely at mom and dad and frowns at everyone else (LOL)! Our doctor says he cant find a single problem with him in any way. I have spoken with the leading PVL experts around the world, I am very fortunate to have some very well connected friends and all of the experts who have seen his film all say that it is very minor and looksvery good. Read one study that concluded that only 8% of grade I PVL's went on to develop CP, I dont know how accurate that is but it offers hope. Last check up he was "ahead" physically for his birth age AND his adjusted age. He is a joy and I have no idea how this will turn out and frankly dont care, he is a precious gift and he will change the world for the better even more than he already has. I welcome ANY commenets or feedback...
Avatar universal
Hi, I just wanted to tell you about our son Noah.  He was born full term 7lbs. 11oz. in 2001 with no complications throughout.  We noticed his one foot looked a little turned before he started walking which wasnt until 18 months.  Not an issue since sister walked at 16 months.  He will be 5 next month by the way.  As time went on we were growing more concerned with the foot.  We kept mentioning it to the pediatrician who was saying oh kids feet are like that. She finally first sent us just to a Podiatrist for "flat foot".  He had some shoe inserts. Not good enough for us so she finally sent us at our request to Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia.  He had xrays of legs and the right side tib and fib bones were shorter.  That ortho dr presribed a foot brace even though he had no trouble walking, running, etc. He rode a scooter fast at 3 like no other kid.  Than a spinal MRI to rule out Tethered cord and an EMG.  Both good.  Finally an MRI of brain and they found PVL.  Both sides.  More on the left.  It was a shock. I also just read on the report a tiny cyst. When he has his shoes on you wouldnt think he has any issue.  The one foot turns out a little and the ankle are tips in.  Its a little smaller than the other foot as is the botton of that leg.  This coming Tuesday he goes in for another EMG followed by Botox injections to that foot and ankle area which will paralyze the spastic muscles and let the weak ones work.  Sorry this is so long but this is a few years now of info.  Long story shorter he does not have a CP diagnosis but a foot deformity from the PVL.  Absolutely no other issues... hoping nothing sneaks up and all goes well Tuesday.  If you read this far..thanks for listening and I hope this info helps you out in some way.

Avatar universal
I've a baby girl, now she's one year old. She's borned premature 28 weeks. In my country, the doctor always said not too clear. so i never thought something has gone wrong with my baby's development. But after 8 months she still can't roll back to belly and sit, i know something has gone wrong. So I went to the neurolog doctor, and my daughter diagnosed spastic diplegia. I still did'nt understand what it was. because the doctor didn't explain it clearly. After i browsed, i found so many details, and it's always connected with CP. After i search CP, i found that PVL is connected too.. Now i know a lot, i'm so afraid. What will happen to my daughter's future?? Cause her four dimension brain test from she's 1 month old has a PVL result. Did the doctor said spastic diplegia means she had CP too?? can someone explain to me?
Avatar universal
I am a 24 year old female with bilateral PVL in the posterior regions of my brain which is a result of complications of premature birth at 32-33 weeks gestation.  I was born after a very prolonged labor, in deep asphyxia and needed 15 hours of mechanical ventilation before I could breath on my own.

I do have spastic diplegia (but walk on my own two feet without any aids) and a learning disability which is manifested in reading comprehension difficulties, difficulties sustaining interest on a task, combination and structuring difficulties and short-term memory/learning new information difficulties.  It takes me much longer than normal to learn and understand new things.  My overall IQ is average (105) however I have a huge discrepancy between verbal and performance IQs with Verbal IQ in the very superior range(135) and performance IQ in the borderline range(73) which is typical for those with bilateral PVL.  However, despite my learning disability, I always got very good grades in school by means of great effort and motivation (in fact was not officially identified as LD until college), got in to a prestigious college and had an SAT score of 1350 (680V, 670M).

College, however, was way above my head, and I struggled there immensely.  I did graduate from college, although barely.  It's been almost two years that I've graduated from college but I still don't have a job.  My brain damage and cognitive difficulties really limit my options in terms of jobs and make it extremely difficult to compete in the labor market.  I don't get job offers because I am cognitively not qualified for the jobs I apply and it shows on interviews.  So in a nutshell, although I compensated successfully all throughout my elementary and secondary schooling, I had great difficulty in college and am now having an extreme difficulty in the job world.

There are two excellent articles about the cognitive effects of PVL CP:

“Cerebral Palsy—Hold to Light”


"Disparity of Verbal and Performance IQ following Early Bilateral Brain Injury"
You can google it.

That's basically all I know from personal experience and reading on the issue.  Hope it helps.

and the other is called “Disparity of Verbal and Performance IQ following Bilateral Perinatal Brain Injury”.

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