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Primary cutaneous cryptococcosis in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts.

A case of primary cutaneous cryptococcal infection is presented and cases of primary cutaneous cryptococcosis in normal and immunocompromised hosts are reviewed. Cutaneous cryptococcosis can occur from local inoculation or dissemination from a distant site of infection. Risk factors associated with development of primary cutaneous cryptococcosis are those which affect cell-mediated immunity, such as corticosteroid usage, solid organ transplantation, sarcoidosis and immunosuppression. The cutaneous manifestations of cryptococcosis are protean and may mimic other cutaneous diseases. Patients with a diagnosis of cryptococcosis from a skin biopsy or culture should undergo evaluation to exclude disseminated disease and an evaluation of cell-mediated immunity. Although some patients do well without antifungal therapy, these patients cannot be discerned prospectively and therefore antifungal therapy appears warranted in all patients with localized disease. Choice of therapy depends on the extent of disease and immunocompetence of the host.

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