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Ischemic stroke as a complication of cryptococcal meningitis and immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome: a case report.

Ellis, JP, Kalata, N, Joekes, Elizabeth, Kampondeni, S, Benjamin, LA, Harrison, TS, Lalloo, David ORCID: and Heyderman, RS (2018) 'Ischemic stroke as a complication of cryptococcal meningitis and immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome: a case report.'. BMC Infectious Diseases, Vol 18, Issue 520.

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Cryptococcal meningitis remains the leading cause of adult meningitis in Sub-Saharan Africa. Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome (IRIS) following anti-retroviral therapy (ART) initiation is an important complication. Here we report the first documented case of a IRIS reaction presenting as an ischemic stroke.
A 38 year old newly diagnosed HIV-infected, ART naive Malawian male presented to a tertiary referral hospital in Blantyre, Malawi with a 2 week history of headache. A diagnosis of cryptococcal meningitis was made and the patient was started on 1200 mg fluconazole once daily and flucytosine 25 mg/kg four times daily as part of the Advancing Cryptococcal Treatment for Africa (ACTA) clinical trial. There was an initial clinical and microbiological response to anti-fungal treatment and anti-retroviral therapy was started at week 4. The patient re-presented 16 days later with recurrence of headache, fever, and a sudden onset of left sided weakness in the context of rapid immune reconstitution; peripheral CD4 count had increased from a baseline of 29 cells/μl to 198 cells/μl. Recurrence of cryptococcal meningitis was excluded through CSF examination and fungal culture. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the brain demonstrated multi-focal DWI (diffusion weighted imaging) positive lesions consistent with an ischemic stroke. Given the temporal relationship to ART initiation, these MRI findings in the context of sterile CSF with raised CSF protein and a rapid immune reconstitution, following an earlier favorable response to treatment is most consistent with a paradoxical Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome.
Stroke is an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality amongst HIV infected persons. Ischemic stroke is a recognized complication of cryptococcal meningitis in the acute phase and is thought to be mediated by an infectious vasculitis. This is the first time an ischemic stroke has been described as part of a paradoxical IRIS reaction. This report adds to the spectrum of clinical IRIS presentations recognized and highlights to clinicians the potential complications encountered at ART initiation in severely immunocompromised patients.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WL Nervous System > WL 100 General works
WL Nervous System > WL 200 Meninges. Blood-brain barrier
WL Nervous System > WL 300 General works (Include works on brain alone)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2018 14:47
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2018 14:47


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