Measurement of cryptococcal antigen in serum and cerebrospinal fluid: Value in the management of aids-associated cryptococcal meningitis

William G. Powderly, Gretchen A. Cloud, William E. Dismukes, Michael S. Saag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations

Abstract

The value of monitoring titers of cryptococcal antigen in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) during therapy for AIDS-associated cryptococcal meningitis was evaluated. Baseline and final titers of antigen in serum and CSF from participants in two studies of such therapy were categorized as increased (a rise of at least two dilutions), unchanged, or decreased (a fall of at least two dilutions). There was no correlation between outcome and changes in serum titers of cryptococcal antigen during treatment for acute meningitis or during suppressive therapy. During therapy for acute infection, an unchanged or increased titer of antigen in CSF was correlated with clinical and microbiological failure to respond to treatment; the correlation was especially strong among patients whose baseline titer of antigen was ≥1:8 (P =.01). A rise in CSF antigen titer during suppressive therapy was associated with relapse of cryptococcal meningitis (P <.001). We conclude that serial monitoring of cryptococcal antigen, as conducted in these studies, has a limited role in the management of AIDS patients with cryptococcal meningitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-792
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1994

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