Meningitis – cryptococcal

Alternative Names

Cryptococcal meningitis

Definition of Meningitis – cryptococcal

Cryptococcal is a fungal infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord (meninges).

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Cryptococcal meningitis is caused by the fungus . This fungus is found in soil around the world.

Symptoms

Unlike bacterial meningitis, this form of meningitis comes on more slowly, over a few days to a few weeks. Symptoms may include:

Signs and tests

Physical examination will usually show:

Treatment

Antifungal medications are used to treat this form of meningitis. Intravenous therapy with amphotericin B is the most common treatment. It is often combined with an oral medication, 5-flucytosine.

Expectations (prognosis)

People with AIDS who recover from cryptococcal meningitis need long-term treatment with medication to prevent the infection from coming back.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Jatin M. Vyas, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/15/2010

Central nervous system

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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