Deep fungal infection in systemic lupus erythematosus - three cases reported, literature reviewed

J Rheumatol. 1975 Mar;2(1):61-72.


Three patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and deep fungal infection are described. Two patients had disseminated cryptococcal infection and the third disseminated histoplasmosis. Allwere receiving corticosteroids at the time fungal infection developed. One patient with disseminated cryptococcosis improved after treatment with amphotericin B and 5-fluorocytosine. The other patient with disseminated cryptococcosis died before adequate therapy could be given. The patient with histoplasmosis responded satisfactorily to amphotericin B. A survey of the literature revealed 30 additional cases of deep fungal infection in patients with SLE, most of whom were on corticosteroid therapy. The majority of the patients had candidiasis (14 patients); 11 patients had severe cryptococcal infection. Other fungal infections reported were histoplasmosis, aspergillois, coccidioidomycosis, and maduromycosis caused by Allerscheria boydii. Twenty-seven patients died; in 22 death was related to the fungal infection. The fungal infection was not diagnosed until necropsy in at least 11 persons. Deep fungal infections should be considered whenever patients with SLE have fever of unknown origin, diffuse pulmonary infiltrates, or unexplained CNS symptoms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aspergillosis / complications
  • Candidiasis / complications
  • Child
  • Cryptococcosis / complications
  • Female
  • Histoplasmosis / complications
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression / adverse effects
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / microbiology
  • Male
  • Mycoses / complications*
  • Steroids / adverse effects
  • Steroids / therapeutic use


  • Steroids