Antifungal Therapy and Management of Complications of Cryptococcosis due to Cryptococcus gattii

Sharon Chen, Tony Korman, M Slavin, Marriott Deborah, K Byth, Narin Bak, Bart Currie, Krispin Hajkowicz, Christopher Heath, Sarah Kidd, William McBride, Wieland Meyer, Ronan Murray, Elliott Playford, Tania Sorrell

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    80 Citations (Scopus)


    Background. We describe antifungal therapy and management of complications due to Cryptococcus gattii infection in 86 Australian patients followed for at least 12 months. Methods. Patient data from culture-confirmed cases (2000-2007) were recorded at diagnosis, 6 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months. Clinical, laboratory, and treatment variables associated with raised intracranial pressure (ICP) and immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) were determined. Results. Seven of 10 patients with lung infection received amphotericin B (AMB) induction therapy (6 with 5-flucytosine [5-FC] for a median of 2 weeks); median duration of therapy including azole eradication therapy was 41 weeks, with a complete/partial clinical response in 78%. For neurologic disease, 88% of patients received AMB, 78% with 5-FC, for a median of 6 weeks. The median total course was 18 months. Nine patients receiving fluconazole induction therapy were reinduced with AMB plus 5-FC for clinical failure. Raised ICP (31 patients) was associated with initial abnormal neurology, and neurologic sequelae and/or death at 12 months (both P = .02); cerebrospinal fluid drains/shunts were placed in 58% of patients and in 64% of 22 patients with hydrocephalus. IRIS developed 2-12 months after starting antifungals in 8 patients, who presented with new/enlarging brain lesions. Risk factors included female sex, brain involvement at presentation, and higher median CD4 counts (all P <. 05); corticosteroids reduced cryptococcoma-associated edema. Conclusions. Induction AMB plus 5-FC is indicated for C. gattii neurologic cryptococcosis (6 weeks) and when localized to lung (2 weeks). Shunting was often required to control raised ICP. IRIS presents with cerebral manifestations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)543-551
    Number of pages9
    JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2013


    • Antifungal therapy
    • Cryptococcus gattii
    • IRIS
    • Neurologic complications


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