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Cerebral cryptococcoma mimicking glioblastoma


Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii cause invasive fungal disease, with meningitis being the most common manifestation of central nervous system (CNS) disease. Encapsulated cryptococcomas occur rarely, predominantly in immunocompetent hosts, usually related to C. gattii. Our patient was an immunocompetent man who presented with headache and a large cystic CNS lesion thought to be glioblastoma. Biopsy of a concomitant lung lesion confirmed cryptococcoma and empiric antifungal therapy was started for presumed CNS cryptococcoma. Antifungal therapy failed to shrink the CNS lesion, and surgical excision confirmed C. gattii CNS cryptococcoma. Following surgery he had complete resolution of symptoms. This case highlights that cryptococcoma cannot be distinguished from tumour on clinical or imaging findings. A combined medical and surgical approach is optimal for the management of large or surgically accessible cryptococcomas, as antifungal therapy alone is unlikely to penetrate large lesions sufficiently to lead to a cure.

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