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Cerebrospinal fluid profiles in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome with and without neurocryptococcosis

Cryptococcosis is one of the most common fungal infections of the central nervous system (CNS) in AIDS patients and meningoencephalitis or meningitis is a frequently observed manifestation. However, systematic studies of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) composition from AIDS patients with CNS cryptococcosis have been few. CSF samples from 114 HIV seropositive patients whose clinical complaint suggested CNS involvement, were analyzed; 32 samples from patients diagnosed as having neurocryptococcosis (Group 1) and 82 samples from patients with no identified neurological disfunction (Group 2). Based on cytological and biochemical results, two distinct profiles were observed: Normal (Group 1 = 31%, Group 2 = 39%); Abnormal (Group 1 = 69%, Group 2 = 61%). Lymphocytes were the most frequent cells in both groups. Our CSF cytological and biochemical findings showed that in AIDS patients liquoric abnormalities are quite frequent, non-specific and difficult to interpret. In these circumstances a systematic search to identify the etiologic agent using microbiological and/or immunological assays must be routinely performed

AIDS; Cerebrospinal fluid; Cryptococcus neoformans; Neurocryptococcosis

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