Cryptococcal Disease Presenting as Cellulitis

Daniel J. Anderson, Cynthia Schmidt, Jesse Goodman, Claire Pomeroy

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89 Scopus citations


Three immunocompromised patients presented with cellulitis as the primary manifestation of cryptococcal disease. Two were recipients of cadaveric renal transplants who were receiving immunosuppressive drug therapy. The other patient had profound lymphopenia and severe hy- poalbuminemia due to intestinal lymphangiectasia. All had failed to respond to empiric therapy for presumed bacterial cellulitis before results of skin biopsy or aspiration were available for the correct diagnosis to be made. With administration of systemic antifungal therapy, two patients survived. Although other forms of cryptococcal involvement of the skin are not rare, cellulitis is seldom considered to be a cutaneous manifestation of the disease. Our cases and a review of the English-language literature indicate that Cryptococcus neoformans must be included in the differential diagnosis of cellulitis in immunocompromised patients and that the presence of cryptococcal cellulitis suggests disseminated cryptococcal disease. Prompt diagnosis and treatment may dramatically reduce mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)666-672
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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