Predictors of mortality and differences in clinical features among patients with Cryptococcosis according to immune status

PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e60431. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060431. Epub 2013 Mar 26.


Introduction: Cryptococcosis is an invasive fungal infection causing substantial morbidity and mortality. Prognostic factors are largely derived from trials conducted prior to the modern era of antifungal and potent combination antiretroviral therapies, immunosuppression, and transplantation. Data describing the clinical features and predictors of mortality in a modern cohort are needed.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients at our institution diagnosed with cryptococcosis from 1996 through 2010. Data included demographics, clinical features, diagnostics, treatment, and outcomes.

Results: We identified 302 individuals: 108 (36%) human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive, 84 (28%) organ transplant recipients (OTRs), and 110 (36%) non-HIV, non-transplant (NHNT) patients including 39 with no identifiable immunodeficiency. Mean age was 49 years, 203 (67%) were male and 170 (56%) were white. All-cause mortality at 90 days was 21%. In multivariable logistic regression analyses, cryptococcemia (OR 5.09, 95% CI 2.54-10.22) and baseline opening pressure >25 cmH2O (OR 2.93, 95% CI 1.25-6.88) were associated with increased odds of mortality; HIV-positive patients (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.19-1.16) and OTRs (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.21-1.05) had lower odds of death compared to NHNT patients.

Conclusions: Predictors of mortality from cryptococcosis in the modern period include cryptococcemia, high intracranial pressure, and NHNT status while drug(s) used for induction and historical prognostic factors including organ failure syndromes and hematologic malignancy were not associated with mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cryptococcosis / complications
  • Cryptococcosis / diagnosis*
  • Cryptococcosis / drug therapy
  • Cryptococcosis / mortality*
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • HIV / isolation & purification
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transplants
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antifungal Agents