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Pulmonary cryptococcosis suspected due to inhalation of swallow excreta presenting with multiple infiltrative shadows.

A 70-year-old woman had been treated with methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis by a rheumatologist who opened a clinic near our hospital. In January of a certain year, she had respiratory symptoms of cough, sputum, and fever. Laboratory test results showed a white blood cell count of 8600/μL (neutrophil count of 5330/μL, lymphocyte count of 2490 μ/L), C-reactive protein (CRP) of 3.30 mg/dL. Chest radiography showed multiple infiltrative shadows in the right middle and lower lobes. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL) lymphocyte count was increased (65.1%), and histopathological findings were consistent with numerous bowl-shaped cryptococcus cells stained black by Grocott staining. Added measurement of serum cryptococcal antigen titers was 4096-fold. Treatment with fluconazole 400 mg/day was initiated, and her symptoms resolved; the shadows of the lung fields improved. When asked in detail, the cryptococcus infection route was suspected from swallow excreta. There have been no reported cases of pulmonary cryptococcosis suspected due to inhalation of swallow excreta presenting with multiple infiltrative shadows.

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