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J Infect. 1990 Sep;21(2):175-81.

The value of serum cryptococcal antigen in the diagnosis of cryptococcal infection in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus.

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Department of Medicine, Westminister Hospital, London, U.K.


Serum cryptococcal antigen titres were measured in 828 HIV-infected patients with pyrexia, 69 of whom had meningism. Serum cryptococcal antigen was positive in 17 patients of whom 16 had meningism with cryptococcus isolated from their CSF. The other patient had no meningism, had no evidence of cryptococcal infection on repeated CSF examination and remains well. A positive serum cryptococcal antigen test was therefore valuable in the diagnosis of cryptococcal meningitis, although in all 16 patients meningism was present and a diagnostic lumbar puncture was therefore carried out. In our experience routine screening for serum cryptococcal antigen did not predict patients who subsequently developed cryptococcal meningitis.

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