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Fungal meningitis
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Fungal meningitis

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Contributors: Andrea Wasilewski MD, Christine Osborne MD, Jamie Adams MD, Richard L. Barbano MD, PhD
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Synopsis

Meningitis, typically subacute in nature, is caused by a variety of fungal organisms in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised individuals. Fungal infections are initially acquired via inhalation of fungal spores and a subsequent pulmonary infection. At times, this initial infection is asymptomatic and self-limited, yet a dormant infection and impaired cell-mediated immunity may permit reactivation of the fungus with dissemination to the central nervous system (CNS). Patients typically present with ongoing headaches, stiff neck, low-grade fever, and lethargy for days to weeks before presentation. Other common symptoms are night sweats and cranial nerve abnormalities.

Common causes of fungal meningitis include:
  • Cryptococcus neoformans – Found worldwide in soil and bird excrement. Typically affects immunocompromised patients such as those with HIV, organ transplantation, or cancer.
  • Histoplasma capsulatum – Endemic to the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and parts of Central and South America. Also more common in immunocompromised patients.
  • Coccidioides immitis – Endemic to the desert southwestern US, northern Mexico, and Argentina. May be an indolent infection and prominently has pulmonary infections.
  • Candida albicans – Often occurs due to disseminated spread of infection, and most common in neonates.

Codes

ICD10CM:
G02 – Meningitis in other infectious and parasitic diseases classified elsewhere

SNOMEDCT:
24321005 – Fungal meningitis

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Therapy

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References

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Last Reviewed: 01/03/2019
Last Updated: 02/11/2019
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Fungal meningitis
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Fungal meningitis : Fever, Headache, Nausea, Vomiting, Photophobia, Night sweats, Malaise, Nuchal rigidity, Confusion
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.