Cryptococcosis in solid organ transplantation-Guidelines from the American Society of Transplantation Infectious Diseases Community of Practice

Clin Transplant. 2019 Sep;33(9):e13543. doi: 10.1111/ctr.13543. Epub 2019 Apr 14.


These updated guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Community of Practice of the American Society of Transplantation review the diagnosis, prevention, and management of cryptococcosis in the pre- and post-transplant period. The current update now includes a discussion of cryptococcosis, which is the third most common invasive fungal infection in SOT recipients. Infection often occurs a year after transplantation; however, early infections occur and donor-derived infections have been described within 3 months after transplant. There are two main species that cause infection, Cryptococcus neoformans and C gattii. Clinical onset may be insidious, but headaches, fevers, and mental status changes should warrant diagnostic testing. The lateral flow cryptococcal antigen assay is now the preferred test from serum and cerebrospinal fluid due to its rapidity, accuracy, and cost. A lumbar puncture with measurement of opening pressure is recommended for patients with suspected or proven cryptococcosis. Lipid amphotericin B plus 5-flucytosine is used as initial treatment of meningitis, disseminated infection, and moderate-to-severe pulmonary infection, followed by fluconazole as consolidation therapy. Fluconazole is effective for mild-to-moderate pulmonary infection. Immunosuppression reduction as part of management may lead to immune reconstitution syndrome that may resemble active disease.

Keywords: antibiotic; antifungal; complication; fungal; infection and infectious agents; infectious.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cryptococcosis / diagnosis*
  • Cryptococcosis / drug therapy*
  • Cryptococcosis / etiology
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Societies, Medical
  • Transplant Recipients


  • Antifungal Agents