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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2009 Sep;111(7):638-42. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2009.05.007. Epub 2009 Jun 21.

Unusual presentations of nervous system infection by Cryptococcus neoformans.

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Department of Neurology, Harvard University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02215, United States.


Nervous system infections by Cryptococcus neoformans may occur not only in congenital or acquired immunodeficiency syndromes, but also in immunocompetent hosts. Neurological manifestations of C. neoformans infection include meningitis and, less commonly, parenchymal CNS granulomatous disease. This paper provides detailed clinical descriptions of highly unusual neurological manifestations of cryptococcal nervous system infections. Medical records and diagnostic data including magnetic resonance imaging, histopathology, serology, and CSF analysis were reviewed. A conus medullaris abscess was found in a patient infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A patient with Hodgkin's disease was diagnosed with cryptococcal meningitis and dermatitis mimicking ophthalmic zoster. An immunocompetent patient presented with recurrent cerebral infarctions in the setting of cryptococcal meningitis. Cryptococcal infections of the nervous system can cause severe neurological disability when diagnosis is delayed. Sensitive and specific tests are readily available and should be considered when an unusual clinical presentation is encountered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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