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Clin Infect Dis. 1995 Feb;20(2):263-6.

Amphotericin B as primary therapy for cryptococcosis in patients with AIDS: reliability of relatively high doses administered over a relatively short period.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, San Bortolo Hospital, Vicenza, Italy.


Thirty-one consecutive AIDS patients with cryptococcal disease were enrolled in a study of the efficacy and safety of short-course primary treatment with a relatively high dose of amphotericin B (1 mg/[kg.d] for 14 days); 26 patients also received flucytosine (100-150 mg/[kg.d], given either intravenously or orally). Twenty-five patients had cryptococcal meningitis confirmed by culture, three had presumed cryptococcal meningitis, and three had disseminated extrameningeal cryptococcosis. After successful primary treatment, all patients were given oral itraconazole or fluconazole as suppressive therapy, and their lifelong clinical and mycologic follow-up was planned. Successful primary therapy was defined as the resolution of symptoms and the documentation of negative cultures of cerebrospinal fluid and/or blood 2 months after the initial diagnosis. Therapy was successful in 29 (93.5%) of all 31 cases and in 26 (92.8%) of the 28 cases of culture-proven or presumed cryptococcal meningitis. Nephrotoxicity developed as a result of amphotericin B administration in seven cases; this adverse reaction required a reduction of the dose in two cases and the discontinuation of therapy in five. No deaths due to cryptococcosis were documented during primary therapy. Treatment failed in two cases. During a mean observation period of 10.7 months, three relapses of the underlying infection occurred. Our results indicate that an aggressive approach to the primary treatment of cryptococcosis in AIDS patients, with the administration of a relatively high dose of amphotericin B for a relatively short period, is effective and well tolerated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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