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A Prospective Study of Mortality from Cryptococcal Meningitis following Treatment Induction with 1200mg Oral Fluconazole in Blantyre, Malawi

Gaskell, Katherine M., Rothe, Camilla, Gnanadurai, Roshina, Goodson, Patrick, Jassi, Chikondi, Heyderman, Robert, Allain, Theresa J., Harrison, Thomas S., Lalloo, David ORCID:, Sloan, Derek and Feasey, Nicholas ORCID: (2014) 'A Prospective Study of Mortality from Cryptococcal Meningitis following Treatment Induction with 1200mg Oral Fluconazole in Blantyre, Malawi'. PLoS ONE, Vol 9, Issue 11, e110285.

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We have previously reported high ten-week mortality from cryptococcal meningitis in Malawian adults following treatment-induction with 800mg oral fluconazole (57% [33/58]). National guidelines in Malawi and other African countries now advocate an increased induction dose of 1200mg. We assessed whether this has improved outcomes.


This was a prospective observational study of HIV-infected adults with cryptococcal meningitis confirmed by diagnostic lumbar puncture. Treatment was with fluconazole 1200mg/day for two weeks then 400mg/day for 8 weeks. Mortality within the first 10 weeks was the study end-point, and current results were compared with data from our prior patient cohort who started on fluconazole 800mg/day.


47 participants received fluconazole monotherapy. Despite a treatment-induction dose of 1200mg, ten-week mortality remained 55% (26/47). This was no better than our previous study (Hazard Ratio [HR] of death on 1200mg vs. 800mg fluconazole: 1.29 (95% CI: 0.77–2.16, p = 0.332)). There was some evidence for improved survival in patients who had repeat lumbar punctures during early therapy to lower intracranial pressure (HR: 0.27 [95% CI: 0.07–1.03, p = 0.055]).


There remains an urgent need to identify more effective, affordable and deliverable regimens for cryptococcal meningitis.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QV Pharmacology > Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Anti-Infective Agents. Antineoplastic Agents > QV 252 Antifungal agents. Antifungal antibiotics
WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 110 Prevention and control of communicable diseases. Transmission of infectious diseases
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503.5 Complications
WL Nervous System > WL 200 Meninges. Blood-brain barrier
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2015 15:15
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:09


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