CSF analysis is often deferred in patients with cryptococcal disease, particularly in the absence of neurologic manifestations. We sought to determine if a subset of SOT recipients with high likelihood of CNS disease could be identified in whom CSF analysis must be performed.
Patients comprised a multicenter cohort of SOT recipients with cryptococcosis.
Of 129 of 146 (88%) SOT recipients with cryptococcosis who underwent CSF analysis, 80 (62%) had CNS disease. In the overall study population, abnormal mental status, time to onset of cryptococcosis >24 months post-transplantation (late-onset disease), serum cryptococcal antigen titer >1:64, and fungemia were independently associated with an increased risk of CNS disease. Of patients with abnormal mental status, 95% had CNS cryptococcosis. When only patients with normal mental status were considered, three predictors (serum antigen titer >1:64, fungemia, and late-onset disease) independently identified patients with CNS cryptococcosis; the risk of CNS disease was 14% if none, 39% if one, and 94% if two of the aforementioned predictors existed (χ2 for trend p<0.001).
CSF analysis should be strongly considered in SOT recipients with cryptococcosis who have late-onset disease, fungemia, or serum cryptococcal antigen titer >1:64 even in the presence of normal mental status.