Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indian J Sex Transm Dis
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-26

Management of cryptococcal meningitis in HIV-infected patients: Experience from western India

1 Infectious Diseases Consultant, Infectious Diseases Clinic, Adit Molecular Diagnostics, "Vedanta" Institute of Medical Sciences, Navarangpura, Ahmedabad - 380 009, India
2 Neurology Department, Sterling Hospital, Memnagar, Ahmedabad - 380 052, India

Correspondence Address:
Atul K Patel
3rd Floor, Infectious Diseases Consultant, Infectious Diseases Clinic, "Vedanta" Institute of Medical Sciences, Navarngpura, Ahmedabad - 380 009
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7184.68996

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Introduction: Cryptococcal meningitis is one of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome defining infections with high mortality. Amphotericin B is the preferred drug for induction therapy. Despite advances in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment, Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) roll-out programs and availability of amphotericin B, cryptococcal meningitis remains an important cause of mortality in the African and other developing countries. Materials and Methods: We carried out a prospective observational study to determine the treatment response rate, tolerability and outcome of patients with cryptococcal meningitis in HIV treated with amphotericin B. Descriptive statistic was used to analyze the data. Results: A total of 27 patients were diagnosed with cryptococcal meningitis during the study period. Headache (96.29%) was the single most common presenting symptom of cryptococcal meningitis in HIV-infected patients, followed by vomiting (77.77%) and fever (66.66%). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) routine and microscopic examination was within normal limits in six patients. CSF became sterile on the 12th day of Amphotericin B in 55.55% of the patients while 33.33% had positive CSF cultures. Patients were started with ART after achieving sterile CSF and tolerated at least 2 weeks of fluconazole consolidation treatment and were free from symptoms. Median time for antiretroviral treatment initiation was 35 (14-90) days after completion of Amphotericin B treatment. One patient developed immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) after ART. Conclusions: We found that the recommended 2 weeks induction treatment with Amphotericin B monotherapy for HIV patients with cryptococcal meningitis in resource-limited settings may be suboptimal for at least one-third of the patients. Extending the therapy to 3 weeks is likely to result in sterilization of the CSF in a majority of these patients. This finding requires confirmation by a larger sample size in appropriately powered studies. Delaying ART initiation by at least 2 weeks after amphotericin B treatment may decrease the incidence of IRIS.

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