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Hearing impairment as an unusual presenting sign of Cryptococcus gattii meningoencephalitis
  1. Sophie Gong1,2,
  2. Pirathaban Sivabalan2 and
  3. Damon P Eisen2,3
  1. 1Internal Medicine, Queensland Health, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Infectious Diseases, Townsville Hospital and Health Service, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  3. 3Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sophie Gong; sophie.gong{at}


Hearing loss is an unusual presenting feature of Cryptococcus gattii meningoencephalitis. Two cases of HIV-negative patients who presented with hearing loss are discussed and a literature review of published cases was conducted. Possible mechanisms for hearing loss with C. gattii infection are explored. This case series aims to raise awareness among clinicians that hearing loss can be a concerning feature in patients with persistent headache necessitating further investigation.

  • cryptococcus
  • infection (neurology)
  • cranial nerves
  • neurootology
  • meningitis

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  • Contributors All authors were directly involved in the clinical management of the patient in case 1. DPE is the senior medical officer and leader of the clinical team. PS is the advanced trainee (senior registrar) and SG is the resident medical officer. SG first proposed publication of the case, which was confirmed by PS and DPE after further review of the presenting features. SG identified case 2 through an existing publication provided by DPE and performed a search through medical records to gather clinical details of the case. SG performed the literature search and wrote the body of the article, with significant review and contributions by PS and DPE.The guarantor of the article is DPE.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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