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29 August 2022 : Case report  USA

[In Press] Cryptococcus neoformans Presenting as a Lung Mass in an Immunocompromised Patient

Unusual clinical course, Challenging differential diagnosis

Siddique Qurashi1AEF, Tabinda Saleem1AEF, Iuliia Kovalenko1EF, Konstantin Golubykh ORCID logo1EF, Lauren Holleran2B

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.936968

Am J Case Rep In Press; DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.936968  

Available online: 2022-08-29, In Press, Corrected Proof

Publication in the "In-Press" formula aims at speeding up the public availability of the pending manuscript while waiting for the final publication. The assigned DOI number is active and citable. The availability of the article in the Medline, PubMed and PMC databases as well as Web of Science will be obtained after the final publication according to the journal schedule


Pulmonary cryptococcosis is an uncommon infection mainly affecting immunocompromised individuals. Presentation of cryptococcal disease ranges from asymptomatic pulmonary colonization to severe pneumonia. It can progress to acute respiratory failure and life-threatening meningoencephalitis.
A 55-year-old woman with a history of a kidney transplant, on immunosuppressive therapy, presented to the hospital with persistent low-grade fever, headache, weight loss, and fatigue for 2 weeks. On arrival, she was tachycardic, normotensive, and saturating 99% on room air. Her chest X-ray showed right middle lung opacity measuring 1.9×2.8 cm. She was admitted and started on broad-spectrum antibiotics for suspected pneumonia. Her chest computed tomography (CT) scan showed a 3.0×1.7 cm hypo-dense opacity at the right upper lobe. Overnight, she developed a severe headache and neck stiffness. Her serum cryptococcal antigen and cerebrospinal fluid culture results were positive. The patient was started on intravenous liposomal amphotericin B plus flucytosine. A CT-guided lung biopsy was performed to rule out malignancy. Cultures came back positive for Cryptococcus neoformans. She completed a 2-week course of amphotericin and flucytosine and was switched to oral fluconazole to complete an 8-week course.
Prompt diagnosis and effective management of the cryptococcal disease can decrease morbidity and mortality. Diagnosis requires CT-guided lung biopsy, with culture growing mucoid colonies of Cryptococcus neoformans. Antifungal therapy with intravenous liposomal amphotericin B plus flucytosine is the mainstay of treatment. Clinicians should be aware of the various presentations of pulmonary cryptococcosis, especially in immunocompromised patients.

Keywords: Bacterial Infections and Mycoses; Cryptococcus neoformans; Immunocompromised Host


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American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923
American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923