An exceptional case report of disseminated cryptococcosis in a hitherto immunocompetent patient


Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo




ABSTRACT Cryptococcosis is an opportunistic fungal infection causes significant disease predominantly in immunocompromised patients. Here we present an excepcional case of disseminated cryptococcosis with pulmonary and cerebral involvement in an immunocompetent patient with no apparent predisposing factors at the time of hospital admission. We described a case of an apparently immunocompetent 66-years old man admitted to hospital with a one-month history of cough, fever and vertigo. During hospitalization, thorax imaging was suggestive of lung metastasis, therefore, he went through several investigations. During hospitalization, he developed neurological symptoms and subsequently underwent a lumbar puncture. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture was positive for Cryptococcus spp. isolated on Sabouraud’s dextrose agar and bird seed agar. In addition, the direct microscopy examination was positive for the India ink test, as well as with the latex agglutination test for cryptococcal polysaccharide antigen (CrAg) in CSF, while serum CrAg was negative. Despite the absence of classic immunocompromising features, he was treated with amphotericin B and fluconazole due to suspected disseminated cryptococcal infection. Later, he was diagnosed with prostatic adenocarcinoma. Upon successful completion of treatment for disseminated cryptococcosis, the patient underwent radical prostate ablation surgery as a treatment forprostatic adenocarcinoma. This exceptional case emphasizes the high degree of suspicion of atypical infections, and in these cases, it is particularly important to consider fungal infections in hitherto healthy patients with no apparent predisposing factors. Although Cryptococcus spp. is predominantly reported in patients with hematological malignancies, cryptococcosis investigation should also be considered as part of the initial workup of patients with a new diagnosis of a solid tumour prior to chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

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