Quantitative analyses of cross-sectional areas of the thalami, caudate nuclei, and lentiform nuclei were performed in 29 preterm infants (16 males, 13 females; mean age 29.6 weeks, age range 27 to 24 weeks,) with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL). MRI was carried out in the infants between 9 and 18 months of corrected age and in 16 control infants. Bilateral thalami, caudate nuclei, lentiform nuclei, cerebral hemispheres, and cerebellum were measured by computer. Ratios of the areas of the thalami (Th), caudate nuclei (Ca), lentiform nuclei (Le), and cerebral hemispheres (CH) to that of the cerebellum (Ce) were calculated in each infant. The ratio of Th:Ce was significantly smaller in infants with moderate and severe PVL than in the control group bilaterally. Abnormal intensity areas were not observed in the thalami in any infants with PVL. CH:Ce was also smaller in infants with severe PVL than in the control group. No significant difference was observed between the groups in ratios Le:Ce or Ca:Ce. Results of our study suggest that the volume of the thalami is reduced and that thalamic involvement is present in infants with white matter lesions who have moderate to severe PVL.