Cryptococcosis

Cryptococcosis is a topic covered in the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics.

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General Principles

  • Cryptococcus neoformans is a ubiquitous yeast associated with soil and pigeon excrement.
  • Disease is principally meningeal (headache and mental status changes) and pulmonary (ranging from asymptomatic nodular disease to fulminant respiratory failure). Disseminated disease can involve any organ with predilection for the CNS, lungs, skin (umbilicated lesions mimicking molluscum), bone, and prostate.
  • Infection typically affects patients with impaired cellular immunity and carries high morbidity and mortality. Although rare, infection in patients with end-stage liver disease has been associated with higher mortality compared to HIV-positive patients and should be considered when symptoms of cryptococcosis are present.

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General Principles

  • Cryptococcus neoformans is a ubiquitous yeast associated with soil and pigeon excrement.
  • Disease is principally meningeal (headache and mental status changes) and pulmonary (ranging from asymptomatic nodular disease to fulminant respiratory failure). Disseminated disease can involve any organ with predilection for the CNS, lungs, skin (umbilicated lesions mimicking molluscum), bone, and prostate.
  • Infection typically affects patients with impaired cellular immunity and carries high morbidity and mortality. Although rare, infection in patients with end-stage liver disease has been associated with higher mortality compared to HIV-positive patients and should be considered when symptoms of cryptococcosis are present.

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