The aim of the present study was to compare the walking abilities in infants with and without periventricular leukomalacia and to see whether the severity of the brain damage was related to locomotor outcome of the infants at 12 and 18 months. 47 newborns were included in the study based on white matter abnormalities on ultrasound. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) recordings during the neonatal period were used to identify and quantify the location and severity of the brain lesions. Locomotor outcome was assessed in terms of disability at 12 and 18 months. The quality of walking, including global and segmental gait parameters, was measured for the infants who could walk independently at 18 months and compared to a group of healthy control infants. The number of children who could walk was related to the extent of white matter abnormalities seen on the neonatal MRI, but the quality of walking was not. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.