Chest Infections |

Not Your Average Transudate: An Unsual Case of a Pleural Effusion Due to Cryptococcus neoformans FREE TO VIEW

Rahul Sood, MD; Paulo Oliveira, MD; Scott Ferrara, MD
Author and Funding Information

University of Massachusetts, Worcester, MA

Chest. 2015;148(4_MeetingAbstracts):90A. doi:10.1378/chest.2258624
Text Size: A A A
Published online


SESSION TITLE: Chest Infections Case Report Posters

SESSION TYPE: Affiliate Case Report Poster

PRESENTED ON: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

INTRODUCTION: We present an intriguing case of a pleural effusion due to Cryptococcus neoformans presenting as a transudate

CASE PRESENTATION: 79 year old male with a past medical history significant for end stage renal disease on hemodialysis and ischemic cardiomyopathy with an ejection fraction of 35%, was admitted to the medicine service with a 2 week history of worsening fatigue and shortness of breath. A chest radiograph showed a new large right sided pleural effusion. A therapeutic thoracentesis was performed with removal of 1200 ml of serous fluid which is transudative by Lights criteria. Specifically, the pleural fluid lactate dehydrogenase was 120 IU/L (serum LDH 216 IU/L), fluid protein 2.5 mg/dl (serum total protein 6.4 mg/dl), glucose 138 mg/dl and WBC count 170/mm3. Cultures from the fluid unexpectedly grew cryptococcus neoformans. Lumbar puncture revealed a positive cryptococcal antigen in the CSF. Serum cryptococcal antigen was negative as were blood cultures. A pigtail chest tube was placed for continued drainage of the effusion for a total of 5 days, and he was started on anti-fungal therapy with amphotericin B and flucytosine per infectious disease recommendations. He clinically improved after about 1 week of treatment, and was discharged to a rehabilitation facility after being transitioned to oral fluconazole for a planned 6 month course for disseminated cryptococcoses. The patient was readmitted after 3 weeks with cardiogenic shock due to acute coronary syndrome, and unfortunately passed away soon after.

DISCUSSION: Pulmonary disease due to cryptococcus neoformans usually manifests radiographically as multiple nodules (often with cavitation), air space consolidations or ground-glass opacities1. Pleural effusions due to this organism are uncommon, and appear to result from extention of a primary subpleural nodule into the pleural space2. Furthermore, our literature review revealed that all of these pleural effusions were exudative, most of them being lymphocyte predominant3.

CONCLUSIONS: We present possibly the first reported case of a transudative pleural effusion due to cryptococcus neoformans in an elderly patient on hemodialysis

Reference #1: Chang WC, Tzao C, Hsu HH, Lee SC, Huang KL, Tung HJ, Chen CY. Pulmonary cryptococcosis: comparison of clinical and radiographic characteristics in immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients. Chest. 2006 Feb;129(2):333-40.

Reference #2: Salyer WR, Salyer DC. Pleural involvement in cryptococcosis. Chest. 1974 Aug;66(2):139-40.

Reference #3: Light,R.W. Pleural Diseases, 2006 (p. 266)

DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Rahul Sood, Paulo Oliveira, Scott Ferrara

No Product/Research Disclosure Information




Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Find Similar Articles
CHEST Journal Articles
PubMed Articles
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543