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Med Mycol. 2019 May 10. pii: myz045. doi: 10.1093/mmy/myz045. [Epub ahead of print]

Prevalence of cryptococcal antigenemia in hospitalized patients with liver cirrhosis.

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1
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine and Seoul National University Hospital.

Abstract

The benefits of screening for cryptococcal antigenemia and of preemptive antifungal treatment in HIV-infected patients have been proven. Liver cirrhosis is an important risk factor for cryptococcal infections. Cryptococcal infections are rapidly fatal in patients with liver cirrhosis, especially when diagnosis is delayed. However, screening for cryptococcal antigenemia has not been investigated in these patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of cryptococcal antigenemia in hospitalized patients with liver cirrhosis. This prospective study was conducted at Seoul National University Hospital from July 2017 to January 2018. We included patients with liver cirrhosis who were admitted regardless of symptoms or signs suggesting cryptococcal infections. The severity of cirrhosis was evaluated from Child-Pugh and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) scores. Serum cryptococcal antigenemia was determined using a latex agglutination test. A total of 294 patients were included in the analysis, comprising 104 (35.4%), 100 (34.0%), and 90 (30.6%) patients in Child-Pugh classes A, B, and C, respectively. There were 21 cases of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, and 14 of hepatic encephalopathy, but none of cryptococcal peritonitis or meningitis. In addition, none of the patient specimens tested positive in the serum cryptococcal latex agglutination test (one-sided 97.5% confidence interval, 0% ∼ 1.2%). Liver cirrhosis is a major risk factor for cryptococcal infections, but the prevalence of serum cryptococcal antigen positivity in patients with liver cirrhosis is very low. Therefore, screening for cryptococcal antigenemia and preemptive antifungal treatment in cirrhotic patients might not be beneficial.

KEYWORDS:

Cryptococcus neoformans ; latex agglutination test; liver cirrhosis

PMID:
31075793
DOI:
10.1093/mmy/myz045

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