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August 1960

The Management of Cryptococcal Meningitis

Author Affiliations

Kansas City, Kan.

From the Department of Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas.

Arch Intern Med. 1960;106(2):261-270. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03820020101015

Cryptococcus neoformans is the most frequent cause of mycotic meningitis in man. This ubiquitous fungus parasitizes domesticated and wild animals extensively. Human infection with cryptococci has been reported from practically all parts of the world. Despite the wide prevalence of the infection, it was not until 1894 that Busse first described the recovery of a yeast-like organism from a skin lesion of a patient with disseminated cryptococcosis.1 Since the first reported antemortem diagnosis of central nervous system cryptococcosis in 1914,2 and its clinical definition in 1916,3 this disease has been recognized with increasing frequency, especially in the last 20 years. A recent monograph on this subject stated that over 300 cases had been recorded in the world literature by 1955.4

It has been suggested that published reports do not reflect accurately the true incidence of this disease, since 151 fatal cases were reported by the National Office of Vital Statistics