Refractory Cryptococcus neoformans Meningoencephalitis in an Immunocompetent Patient: Paradoxical Antifungal Therapy-Induced Clinical Deterioration Related to an Immune Response to Cryptococcal Organisms

Hideto Nakajima, Ayami Takayama, Yohei Fujiki, Takumi Ito, Haruko Kitaoka
Case Reports in Neurology 2015, 7 (3): 204-8
We present a case of refractory Cryptococcus neoformans meningoencephalitis in an immunocompetent woman. Her clinical symptoms did not improve with 6 months of antifungal therapy, and MRI abnormalities, indicating severe meningeal and cerebral inflammation, persisted despite a decreasing cryptococcal antigen titer. The patient continued to deteriorate despite antifungal therapy, and her condition clearly improved following treatment with adjunctive corticosteroid. We postulate that the paradoxical antifungal therapy-related clinical deterioration was due to an immune response to cryptococcal organisms, which responded to corticosteroids. These observations provide rationale for a further evaluation of corticosteroids in the management of select cases of C. neoformans central nervous system infection.

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