Pulmonary Cryptococcosis With Trachea Wall Invasion in an Immunocompetent Patient: A Case Report and Literature Review

Respiration. 2014;87(4):324-8. doi: 10.1159/000357715. Epub 2014 Feb 13.


Cryptococcosis causes significant morbidity and mortality in the world. Pulmonary cryptococcosis is a kind of subacute or chronic pulmonary fungal disease. We present a case of pulmonary cryptococcosis with a trachea wall invasion-like malignant tumor in an immunocompetent patient and a literature review. The 44-year-old man, a nonsmoker, suffered from mild dyspnea and white sputum with intermittent blood streaks. A computed tomography (CT) scan of his chest showed two possibly malignant lesions in the right hilum and upper-right field of his lung, which have higher uptake values of fluorodeoxyglucose on positron emission tomography (PET)/CT. Lung biopsy pathology showed scattered fungal spores and positive periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining. The immune status and blood tumor markers were all normal in this patient. The titer of Cryptococcus antigen latex agglutination test was 1:1,280. Under fiberoptic bronchoscopy, a prominent new mass on the right wall of the trachea blocked most of the right main bronchus. To reduce the symptoms of airway obstruction, treatment by bronchoscopy, i.e. ablation and endotracheal stent, was used. As his symptoms were aggravated by the use of itraconazole, amphotericin B liposome was used as antifungal treatment. All these methods led to a better prognosis. We conclude that pulmonary cryptococcosis may mimic lung neoplasms radiologically and bronchoscopically, even in immunocompetent patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cryptococcosis / pathology*
  • Cryptococcosis / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunocompetence
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / pathology*
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Trachea / pathology*
  • Tracheal Neoplasms / diagnosis


  • Antifungal Agents