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Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Sep 1;33(5):690-9. Epub 2001 Jul 26.

Cryptococcosis in human immunodeficiency virus-negative patients in the era of effective azole therapy.

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University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center, Birmingham, AL 35294-0006, USA.


We conducted a case study of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative patients with cryptococcosis at 15 United States medical centers from 1990 through 1996 to understand the demographics, therapeutic approach, and factors associated with poor prognosis in this population. Of 306 patients with cryptococcosis, there were 109 with pulmonary involvement, 157 with central nervous system (CNS) involvement, and 40 with involvement at other sites. Seventy-nine percent had a significant underlying condition. Patients with pulmonary disease were usually treated initially with fluconazole (63%); patients with CNS disease generally received amphotericin B (92%). Fluconazole was administered to approximately two-thirds of patients with CNS disease for consolidation therapy. Therapy was successful for 74% of patients. Significant predictors of mortality in multivariate analysis included age > or =60 years, hematologic malignancy, and organ failure. Overall mortality was 30%, and mortality attributable to cryptococcosis was 12%. Cryptococcosis continues to be an important infection in HIV-negative patients and is associated with substantial overall and cause-specific mortality.

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