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Clin Transplant. 1994 Aug;8(4):365-8.

Cutaneous cryptococcosis mimicking bacterial cellulitis in a liver transplant recipient: case report and review in solid organ transplant recipients.

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VA Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15240.


Cutaneous cryptococcosis is an uncommon manifestation of disseminated cryptococcal disease. We report a liver transplant recipient presenting with onset over 3 days of progressive pain and swelling of the lower extremity and foot with erythema and heat. Cryptococcal cellulitis was documented, but in retrospect the clinical presentation was indistinguishable in presentation and appearance from acute bacterial cellulitis. The patient also proved to have concomitant cryptococcal septic arthritis; the presence of cryptococcal antigen in the synovial fluid allowed a rapid and definitive diagnosis. Subsequently, cultures of skin, synovial fluid, and blood were all positive for cryptococci. Cryptococcus should be considered in the differential diagnosis of bacterial cellulitis in a liver transplant recipient not responding to antibacterial therapy.

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