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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb




An Uncommon Presentation of Cryptococcal Meningoencephalitis.


Freitas I, Salazar T, Rodrigues P, Vilela M, Duarte A
Cureus. 2022 Feb; 14(2):e21984.
PMID: 35282533.


Cryptococcal meningoencephalitis (CM) remains a common cause of central nervous system infections. Patients usually present with headache, fever, malaise, and altered mental status over several weeks. Signs are often absent, but they may include meningism, papilledema, cranial nerve palsies, and depressed level of consciousness. Individuals with CM can occasionally present with small vessel vasculitis causing cerebral lesions. The literature regarding patterns of cerebrovascular injury in CM is scarce. We describe a case of CM in which an unusual presentation was observed: transient focal neurological symptoms initially with absence of fever that led to a misleading primary diagnosis of transient ischemic attack. Since neurological symptoms may be a manifestation of a cryptococcal infection, it is necessary to have a high degree of suspicion for this pathology in the presence of focal neurological deficits, even in patients with vascular risk factors, requiring a thorough etiological investigation.