Cryptococcal infections of the central nervous system: a ten year experience.

J. A. Waterston, B. S. Gilligan

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Abstract

Twenty cases of cryptococcal CNS infection treated at the Alfred and Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospitals from 1975 to 1985 were reviewed. A predisposing immunological deficit was present in 40% of the cases and nearly half had evidence of pulmonary involvement. Severe headache was an almost universal presenting feature but fever and meningismus were not. Measurement of CSF cryptococcal antigen and CSF culture were far more reliable diagnostic markers than Indian ink smears. Cerebral CT scanning identified abnormalities in nearly 30% of cases, including 2 with cystic lesions and 2 with mass lesions. Combination therapy with amphotericin B and 5-fluorocytosine was used as first line treatment. Ventricular shunts were required for 2 patients with hydrocephalus, and persistently raised intracranial pressure often required frequent lumbar punctures and corticosteroids for control. Mortality was 30% and correlated with the presence of impaired conscious state, hydrocephalus or other neurological deficit, underlying immunodeficiency and low CSF glucose levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-137
Number of pages11
JournalClinical and Experimental Neurology
Volume23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1987
Externally publishedYes

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