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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-43

Cryptococcal meningitis in Qatar: A hospital based study from 2005-2015

1 Department of Medicine, Infectious Disease Division, Doha, Qatar
2 Department of Microbiology, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar

Correspondence Address:
Fahmi Yousef Khan
Department of Medicine, Hamad General Hospital, Doha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmbs.ijmbs_5_20

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Introduction: Cryptococcal meningitis (CM) is an opportunistic and life-threatening infection, affecting mainly patients with AIDS. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of CM and describe its clinical profile, laboratory parameters, and outcomes in patients with CM in Qatar. Patients and Methods: This retrospective study was conducted at Hamad General Hospital. This study includes all patients admitted to the hospital with CM from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2015. Results: Eleven patients were included in the study, representing 0.01% of the total admissions and 1.1% of all reported meningitis cases during the study; their mean age was 38.5 ± 12 years. Seven patients (63.6%) were males, and most of them were Filipinos. The most frequent presenting symptom was a headache. Six patients (54.5%) were HIV seropositive, three (27.3%) had preexisting immunosuppressive disorders, and two patients (18.2%) had no risk factors. All the patients tested positive in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) India ink examination and had a positive CSF culture for Cryptococcus neoformans. All patients received amphotericin B or liposomal amphotericin B with or without 5-flucytosine as induction treatment. Ten patients received fluconazole as consolidation/maintenance therapy. Eight patients (72.7%) were cured at the end of the treatment period. Two patients (18.2%) left before treatment completion, while one patient (9%) died during admission. Conclusions: CM is rare in Qatar and affects both HIV-positive and HIV-negative expatriates. Clinical presentation is nonspecific and requires a high index of suspicion.

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