Seventy-one patients with cryptococcal meningitis, 46 males and 25 females, aged 15-83 years, were included in this study. Their initial clinical manifestations, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) features, and therapeutic results were analysed. Patients were treated with three different regimens: amphotericin B, fluconazole, and combination therapy. Based on the therapeutic results, the 71 patients were also divided into cured, improved, and failed groups. For statistical comparison, the clinical manifestations and CSF features, were compared according to therapeutic outcome. There was no statistical difference in outcome among the three different antifungal regimens. However, patients treated with fluconazole required 36% fewer days of hospitalization compared with those receiving amphotericin B. Significant prognostic factors, included low CSF glucose, high CSF lactate, high CSF cryptococcal antigen titre (> or = 1:1024), initial level of consciousness, the presence of seizure, hydrocephalus, and central nervous system vasculitis. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that only initial level of consciousness, and CSF antigen titre were strongly associated with therapeutic failure after other potentially confounding factors were adjusted for. Because some of the prognostic factors in cryptococcal meningitis can be corrected, early diagnosis, early use of appropriate antifungal treatment, and the correction of the underlying metabolic derangements are important in management.