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Acta Clin Belg. 1996;51(2):111-7.

Cutaneous cryptococcosis in corticosteroid-treated patients without AIDS.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospitals, Leuven, Belgium.


Two corticosteroid-treated patients with cutaneous cryptococcal infection are described. One patient had pustulous lesions on the back of his left hand and cellulitis of his left forearm, the other patient had ulcerous lesions of the right forearm and cellulitis of the right lower leg. In both cases diagnosis was suggested by histopathological examination of a biopsy and confirmed by culture. One patient may have had disseminated cryptococcal disease as suggested by a positive cryptococcal capsular antigen test, the other had no evidence of dissemination. Treatment consisted of oral fluconazole for six weeks. One patient died of an unrelated cause after four weeks treatment. Secondary antifungal prophylaxis was not given. Cutaneous cryptococcal infections are described in AIDS patients, but only seldom observed in other immunocompromised patients. Early recognition of the cutaneous lesions is important, as they can be the first sign of disseminated cryptococcosis. Untreated, the mortality of this disease is high. Therapy consists of amphotericin B with or without flucytosine. Fluconazole may be valuable alternative. The optimal treatment regimen and duration are not defined yet. Contrary to AIDS patients with cryptococcal infection, who need life-long secondary antifungal prophylaxis in order to prevent relapses, suppressive treatment is not indicated for immunocompromised non-AIDS patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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