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Diagn Cytopathol. 1998 May;18(5):365-7.

Pulmonary cryptococcosis and pituitary Cushing's disease.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville 32610-0275, USA.


Pulmonary cryptococcosis was diagnosed by examining smears obtained by fine-needle aspiration (FNA) in a patient with pituitary Cushing's disease. FNA allowed for rapid diagnosis and prompt treatment of a potentially serious infection. The patient fully recovered from her pulmonary disease. Although opportunistic infections may occur in patients with endogenous Cushing's syndrome, it is rare to see such infections in the subset of patients with pituitary Cushing's disease. Hypercortisolism associated with Cushing's syndrome appears to induce a transitory immune deficiency state and opens a window of opportunity for certain infectious agents such as Cryptococcus neoformans to exploit. To our knowledge, this is the third such case reported in this clinical setting, and the first diagnosed by FNA.

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