AN UNUSUAL CASE OF CRYPTOCOCCAL ENDOPHTHALMITIS

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Abstract

Background:

Cryptococcal endophthalmitis is a rare disorder, almost invariably diagnosed after enucleation or at postmortem examination. There are therefore few guidelines as to its identification or treatment.

Methods:

A case of culture-positive cryptococcal endophthalmitis in a patient with chronic uveitis was diagnosed by vitreous biopsy at the time of retinal detachment repair. The patient was treated with oral fluconazole for 5 months. All reported cases of cryptococcal endophthalmitis were reviewed and compared.

Results:

After oral fluconazole therapy, the patient was culture negative on repeat tap. Despite conversion to culture-negative status, however, visual acuity declined to hand motions because of hyphema and hypotony. The organism was successfully identified as a non-neoformans species, Cryptococcus laurentii, previously unreported as an ocular pathogen.

Conclusion:

This unique case demonstrates that cryptococcal disease can be diagnosed antemortem by vitreous biopsy, and should be added to the differential diagnosis in cases of chronic smoldering uveitis. A non-neoformans organism is also identified for the first time as a cause of ocular cryptococcosis. Fluconazole, used here for the only time of which we are aware to treat cryptococcal endophthalmitis, produced successful conversion to culture negativity and resolution of the uveitis.

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