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Disseminated Cryptococcus neoformans infection in a left ventricular assist device recipient


A 51-year-old man with a medical history of coronary artery disease and dyslipidaemia presented with acute myocardial infarction resulting in cardiogenic shock, necessitating intra-aortic balloon pump placement and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). His hospital course was complicated by several infectious complications including ECMO circuit Pseudomonas aeruginosa bloodstream infection and presumed infected right atrial thrombus. He subsequently underwent urgent left ventricular assist device placement and had a prolonged hospital stay. On day 100 of admission, he developed acute hypoxic respiratory distress with new pulmonary infiltrates. Sputum cultures grew Cryptococcus neoformans. Blood culture also grew C. neoformans after 96 hours of incubation and cryptococcal serum antigen was elevated at 1:20. Cerebrospinal fluid studies from a lumbar puncture were normal. He was treated with 2 weeks of combination antifungal therapy followed by life-long fluconazole suppression.

  • cryptococcosis
  • cryptococcus
  • infectious diseases
  • cardiovascular medicine
  • heart failure
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