Fungal infections of the central nervous system: Comparative analysis of risk factors and clinical signs in 57 patients

Thomas J. Walsh, Daniel B. Hier, Louis R. Caplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Risk factors and clinical manifestations of fungal infections of the CNS were analyzed in 57 autopsied patients. Aspergillosis occurred in 16, candidiasis in 27, and cryptococcosis in 14. Nine of 31 variables studied showed significant difference (p < 0.01). Cryptococcosis was community-acquired in 93%; whereas, aspergillosis and candidiasis were nosocomial in more than 95%. Focal neurologic deficits developed in 50% with CNS aspergillosis, but in only 4% with candidiasis. Meningeal signs occurred in 86% with CNS cryptococcosis, but in only 6% with aspergillosis and 7% with candidiasis. Discriminant analysis demonstrated that CNS aspergillosis was most frequently a nosocomial infection with focal neurologic deficits, pulmonary infiltrates, and hypercortisolemia. Cryptococcosis was generally a non-nosocomial infection with meningeal signs presenting in an ambulatory population. CNS candidiasis was a clinically occult nosocomial fungal infection with generally no deficits or meningismus, occurring most frequently in the neonate, the elderly, and surgical patients. The discriminant functions, which correctly classified 91% of these CNS fungal infections, may be applicable in clinical diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1654-1657
Number of pages4
JournalNeurology
Volume35
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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