Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 51–53 | Cite as

Cryptococcal meningitis in patients with glioma: a report of two cases

  • Jonathan D. Choi
  • Ciaran J. Powers
  • James J. Vredenburgh
  • Allan H. Friedman
  • John H. Sampson
Clinical-patient studies


Objective and importance We describe two patients with high-grade glioma undergoing treatment with corticosteroids and chemotherapy who presented with cryptococcal meningitis and sepsis. This report of two cases highlights the importance of examining the efficacy of prophylactic antibiotic and/or antifungal regimens in this patient population due to their increased risk of opportunistic infections. Clinical presentation A 73-year-old man with a history of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), on dexamethasone and status post radiation therapy and two cycles of temozolamide, presented with decreased level of consciousness for 24 h and was found to have cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood cultures positive for Cryptococcus neoformans. A 33-year-old man with a history of anaplastic astrocytoma, on dexamethasone and status post radiation therapy, four cycles of temozolomide and two cycles of Lomustine (CCNU), presented with headache, dizziness and photophobia and was found to have CSF and blood cultures positive for Cryptococcus neoformans. Intervention Both patients were treated with an initial regimen of amphotericin B and flucytosine for a minimum of two weeks and switched to fluconazole for 6 months to 1 year of treatment. Conclusion Patients with high-grade glioma treated with long-term corticosteroid therapy and chemotherapy are at increased risk of developing opportunistic infections. The two patients reported here developed cryptococcal meningitis and sepsis. Prophylactic regimens with either fluconazole or itraconazole currently exist that effectively decrease the incidence of both cryptococcal infections. Further investigations into the risk:benefit ratio of primary prophylactic therapy in this patient population may prove beneficial.


Cryptococcus Glioma Corticosteroid Chemotherapy Opportunistic infections Immunosuppresion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan D. Choi
    • 1
  • Ciaran J. Powers
    • 2
  • James J. Vredenburgh
    • 3
  • Allan H. Friedman
    • 2
  • John H. Sampson
    • 2
  1. 1.Duke University School of MedicineDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Division of Neurosurgery, Department of SurgeryDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Division of Medical Oncology, Department of MedicineDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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