Identifying Predictors of Central Nervous System Disease in Solid Organ Transplant RecipientsWith Cryptococcosis

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Background.Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis is often deferred in patients with cryptococcal disease, particularly in the absence of neurologic manifestations. We sought to determine whether a subset of solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients with high likelihood of central nervous system (CNS) disease could be identified in whom CSF analysis must be performed.Methods.Patients comprised a multicenter cohort of SOT recipients with cryptococcosis.Results.Of 129 (88%) of 146 SOT recipients with cryptococcosis who underwent CSF analysis, 80 (62%) had CNS disease. In the overall study population, abnormal mental status, time to onset of cryptococcosis more than 24 months posttransplantation (late-onset disease), serum cryptococcal antigen titer more than 1:64, and fungemia were independently associated with an increased risk of CNS disease. Of patients with abnormal mental status, 95% had CNS cryptococcosis. When only patients with normal mental status were considered, three predictors (serum antigen titer >1:64, fungemia, and late-onset disease) independently identified patients with CNS cryptococcosis; the risk of CNS disease was 14% if none, 39% if one, and 94% if two of the aforementioned predictors existed (χ2 for trend P<0.001).Conclusions.CSF analysis should be strongly considered in SOT recipients with cryptococcosis who have late-onset disease, fungemia, or serum cryptococcal antigen titer more than 1:64 even in the presence of normal mental status.

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