Coccidioidal meningitis

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Sep:1111:377-84. doi: 10.1196/annals.1406.037. Epub 2007 Mar 15.


Coccidioidal meningitis affects between 200 to 300 persons annually within the endemic area of the United States, with much larger numbers expected in epidemic years. Because this represents a chronic disease for survivors, several thousand patients may be under treatment at any given time. Epidemiology, background, and diagnosis are reviewed. Azole therapy has replaced intrathecal amphotericin B for induction and maintenance therapy for this disease, given its ease of administration and equivalent efficacy in controlling infection even at the cost of losing the opportunity for cure. Both itraconazole and fluconazole have demonstrated efficacy, but have not been compared in randomized human studies. One of the uses of intrathecal amphotericin B is as "add on" therapy in failing azole regimens without evidence of antagonism. Details of therapeutic approach are reviewed. Approach to diagnosis and management of the two principal potentially life threatening complications, hydrocephalus and vasculitis, is also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Coccidioidomycosis / diagnosis*
  • Coccidioidomycosis / therapy*
  • Comorbidity
  • Fluconazole / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / therapy
  • Itraconazole / therapeutic use
  • Meningitis, Fungal / diagnosis*
  • Meningitis, Fungal / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vasculitis / therapy


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Itraconazole
  • Amphotericin B
  • Fluconazole