• 1 Clinical Training Unit, St George's University School of Medicine, Grenada
Trop Doct, 1998 Jan;28(1):34-9.
PMID: 9481195


We review our experience with 27 cases of pulmonary and meningeal cryptococcosis at the University Hospital, (Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia) where this is the most common cause of adult meningitis in patients without debilitating illnesses. Of the 27 cases analysed, six presented primarily with pulmonary symptomatology which usually were mainly cough, chest pain and low grade fever. The rest presented with primarily central nervous system (CNS) symptomatology of which headaches and fever were the most consistent symptoms although a third of these patients also had pulmonary lesions noted on chest radiographs. Treatment in all cases was with amphotericin B and 5-fluorocytosine and usually till a total cumulative dose of 1.5 g of amphotericin had been reached (an average of 10 weeks). Primary pulmonary presentations, if symptomatic, were treated as per CNS cryptococcosis due to the high likelihood of CNS dissemination. Incidental pulmonary cryptococcoma found on routine chest radiographs were confirmed by biopsy under ultrasound or fluoroscopy guidance and booked for surgical resection. Death usually occurred early in patients who presented late. Once patients responded to therapy, mortality was usually avoided. The only cause of morbidity in survivors was visual impairment or blindness, and this was attributed mainly to intracranial hypertension with residual deficits determined by the measures taken to lower intracranial pressures. Our experience suggests that: (i) symptomatic patients should have combination therapy with 5-fluorocytosine and amphotericin B till at least a cumulative dose of 1.5 g amphotericin B is reached irrespective of whether they have primary CNS or pulmonary symptomatology; (ii) non-symptomatic pulmonary cryptococcoma could be treated primarily by surgical resection; (iii) visual failure or papilloedema should be treated aggressively; and (iv) prognosis is good with adequate therapy and early presentation.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.