Cellulitis is an unusual presentation of disseminated cryptococcosis, a serious infection seen predominantly in immunocompromised hosts. Disseminated cryptococcosis carries significant morbidity for transplant recipients, especially of the pulmonary and central nervous systems, and carries a high mortality risk.
We report a 59-year-old renal transplant recipient who presented with bilateral lower leg cellulitis without other symptoms or signs. Failure of conventional therapy for cellulitis prompted a skin biopsy confirming cryptococcal cellulitis. Additional evaluation to exclude disseminated disease revealed Cryptococcus neoformans in blood cultures and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Treatment included reduction in immunosuppression regimen and targeted treatment for cryptococcal disease with liposomal amphotericin B and flucytosine followed by fluconazole consolidation and maintenance therapy. Treatment with liposomal amphotericin B and flucytosine followed by fluconazole consolidation and maintenance therapy achieved a good clinical response. Our patient achieved significant reduction in leg cellulitis and recovered without serious complication.
This case suggests that cutaneous cryptococcosis in immunosuppressed patients warrants a low threshold for investigation for disseminated disease even in the absence of other symptoms or signs.
Srivastava G, Tilak R, Yadav J, Bansal M. Cutaneous cryptococcus: marker for disseminated infection. BMJ Case Rep. 2015; https://doi.org/10.1136/bcr-2015-210898.
Singh N, Rihs J, Gayowski T, Yu V. Cutaneous cryptococcosis mimicking bacterial cellulitis in a liver transplant recipient: case report and review in solid organ transplant recipients. Clin Transpl. 1994;8(4):365–8.
Alaino A, Vernel-Pauilac F, Stury-Leclère, et al. Cryptococcus neoformans host adaptation: toward biological evidence of dormancy. MBio. 2015;6(2):e02580–14.
- Disseminated cryptococcosis presenting initially as lower limb cellulitis in a renal transplant recipient – a case report
Y. Y. Paul Chia
David W. Mudge
Janath De Silva
- BioMed Central
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