Overview: cryptococcosis in the patient with AIDS

Mycopathologia. 1991 Jun;114(3):153-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00437205.


Cryptococcosis is currently the most common life threatening mycoses found in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Extrapulmonary involvement is most frequently seen, especially in the central nervous system and skin. Clinical findings are non-specific, even in patients with meningitis. Threshold for diagnosis of this infection should be low, with serum cryptococcal antigens, blood, urine and sputum cultures for Cryptococcus neoformans performed in febrile AIDS patients. Lumbar puncture should also be performed if unexplained headaches are included in a patient's complaints. There is currently no consensus for the most appropriate treatment strategy and the role of oral azoles versus amphotericin B or amphotericin B with flucytosine remains a serious question in need of further controlled studies. Patients eligible for multicentered trials should be encouraged to participate. Therapy for others should be individualized. This review will address some of these issues.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use
  • Cryptococcosis / complications*
  • Cryptococcosis / diagnosis
  • Cryptococcosis / drug therapy
  • Fluconazole / therapeutic use
  • Flucytosine / therapeutic use
  • Humans


  • Amphotericin B
  • Fluconazole
  • Flucytosine