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Chest. 1977 Jul;72(1):13-9.

Cryptococcosis, with emphasis on the significance of isolation of Cryptococcus neoformans from the respiratory tract.


Cryptococcus neoformans was isolated from 65 patients: 11 had meningitis, 11 had disseminated cryptococcosis without meningitis, and 43 had C neoformans isolated from the respiratory tract. Predisposing conditions and the diagnostic value of cultures from various sites and of the latex agglutination test on cerebrospinal fluid and serum are analyzed for patients with extrapulmonary disease. Nine patients had pleural effusions; the effusion was cultured in six and yielded C neoformans in four. None of 11 deaths among 43 patients with respiratory tract isolates could be attributed to cryptococosis. The 32 survivors were nor treated with antifungal agents. Twenty-six of 43 patients with respiratory isolates had various bronchopulmonary disorders, with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and asthma the most common (28 percent). Seven of 28 patients (25 percent) with roentgenographically detected lung lesions had carcinoma of the lung. Roentgenographic evidence of a lung lesion and C neoformans grown from the respiratory tract warrant a further search for carcinoma of the lung.

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