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Newborn Neurologic Disorders

What is intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH)?

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is bleeding inside or around the ventricles, the spaces in the brain containing the cerebral spinal fluid.

  • Intraventricular means within the ventricles
  • Hemorrhage means excessive bleeding

Intraventricular hemorrhage is most common in premature babies, especially very low birthweight babies weighing less than 1,500 grams (3 pounds, 5 ounces).

Anatomy of the brain, showing the ventricles

What is periventricular leukomalacia (PVL)? 

Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is characterized by the death or damage and softening of the white matter, the inner part of the brain that transmits information between the nerve cells and the spinal cord, as well as from one part of the brain to another.

  • Periventricular means around or near the ventricles, the spaces in the brain containing the cerebrospinal fluid
  • Leuko means white
  • Malacia means softening 


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Frequently Asked Questions

Intraventricular Hemorrhage

What causes intraventricular hemorrhage?

Why is intraventricular hemorrhage a concern?

What are the different grades of intraventricular hemorrhage?

What are the symptoms of intraventricular hemorrhage?

How is intraventricular hemorrhage diagnosed?

Treatment for intraventricular hemorrhage

Periventricular Leukomalacia

Why is periventricular leukomalacia a concern?

What causes periventricular leukomalacia?

What are the symptoms of periventricular leukomalacia?

How is periventricular leukomalacia diagnosed?

Treatment for periventricular leukomalacia

Meet the Providers Who Treat Newborn Neurologic Disorders

Patient Stories

Departments that Treat Newborn Neurologic Disorders

Young baby sleeping in NICU bed


Whether your infant has arrived prematurely or has a critical illness, the Children's National Hospital's top-ranked team assists in coordinating every service you and your baby need, including consultations, assessments, emergency treatments and continuing care.

Neonatal Neurology and Neonatal Neurocritical Care Program

The Neonatal Neurology and Neurocritical Care Program at Children's National is the only one of its kind in the mid-Atlantic region and a leader in advancing neurologic care to some of our most critically ill newborns.