Cryptococcal disease of the CNS in immunocompetent hosts: influence of cryptococcal variety on clinical manifestations and outcome

Clin Infect Dis. 1995 Mar;20(3):611-6. doi: 10.1093/clinids/20.3.611.


We performed a retrospective review of cases of cerebral cryptococcosis among patients admitted to 12 Australian teaching hospitals between 1985 and 1992. Of 118 cases identified, 35 occurred in immunocompetent hosts. When cases due to Cryptococcus neoformans variety neoformans were compared with those due to Cryptococcus neoformans variety gattii, we found that the latter tended to occur in healthy hosts whose residence or job was located in a rural area, and cerebral mass lesions and/or hydrocephalus and pulmonary mass lesions were more common. For a subgroup of patients with infection due to C. neoformans variety gattii, multiple enhancing lesions were observed on cerebral computed tomograms, and papilledema, high CSF and serum cryptococcal antigen titers, and a worse prognosis (despite prolonged amphotericin B therapy and intraventricular shunt insertion) were also noted. No significant difference in clinical course or outcome in terms of variety of C. neoformans was noted for patients with cryptococcal meningitis whose computed tomographic scans appeared normal on presentation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / immunology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / microbiology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use
  • Antigens, Fungal / blood
  • Antigens, Fungal / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / physiology
  • Female
  • Flucytosine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunocompetence
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Cryptococcal / drug therapy
  • Meningitis, Cryptococcal / immunology*
  • Meningitis, Cryptococcal / microbiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Species Specificity
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antigens, Fungal
  • Amphotericin B
  • Flucytosine