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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 444--449

Cryptococcal meningitis in HIV infected: Experience from a North Indian tertiary center

1 Department of Internal Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Microbiology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Ajay Wanchu
Department of Internal Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.44823

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Background: Cryptococcal meningitis is a common opportunistic infection in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-infected individuals. There is little information specifically addressing cryptococcal meningitis in HIV-infected patients from North India. Aims: To determine clinical presentation, hospital course, response to treatment, complications developed, in-hospital mortality, any recurrence of cryptococcal meningitis and reasons of recurrence during follow-up. Settings and Design: A retrospective observational study undertaken in a large tertiary care center. Materials and Methods: Patient's demographic data, presenting clinical symptomatology, physical findings, laboratory parameters, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination findings, side-effects of treatment, development of any complications and hospital outcome were analyzed. During follow-up any recurrence of cryptococcal meningitis, possible reasons of recurrence, type of treatment received, complications developed and outcome was recorded as well. Results: Forty patients diagnosed to have cryptococcal meningitis were analyzed. Twenty-two (55%) patients had acute/ subacute presentation. Thirty-six (90%) patients presented with headache and 18 (45%) had altered sensorium. Twenty (50%) patients had no cells in the CSF. Hypoglycorrhchia was seen in 30 (75%) patients. Cryptococcal meningitis was the first acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)-defining illness in 30 (75%) patients. Thirty-five patients developed some adverse effects to amphotericin-B. Thirty-three patients improved with treatment while three patients died. Four patients had recurrence of cryptococcal meningitis within six months of first episode. Non-compliance of fluconazole therapy was the reason for recurrence in all of these patients. Conclusions: Cryptococcal meningitis is a common initial AIDS-defining illness. Acute and/or subacute presentation of cryptococcal meningitis is not uncommon in HIV-infected individuals. An early diagnosis of HIV infection might reduce the incidence of this infection.


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