Case report| Volume 35, P73-75, January 2017

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Cryptococcosis mimicking lung carcinoma with brain metastases in an immunocompetent patient

Published:October 18, 2016DOI:


      • Cryptococcosis is a potentially fatal fungal infection that has a good prognosis if it is recognized and treated early.
      • Typically, cryptococcosis is associated with the immunocompromised patient. However, there are increasing reports that the immunocompetent population can be infected by this yeast as well.
      • This is the first reported case of infection by Cryptoccoccus spp. in an immunocompetent host, successfully mimicking a diagnosis of primary lung carcinoma with brain metastases. This clinical scenario demonstrates that disseminated cryptococcosis can successfully mimic other more common disease states.


      Cryptococcosis is a fungal infection caused by Cryptococcus spp. that enters the body via inhalation. This ubiquitous yeast has gained notoriety as an opportunistic pathogen in the immunosuppressed population. The authors report a case of a previously-well adult male presented with left-sided weakness. Imaging demonstrated a pulmonary mass and 2 contrast-enhancing intracranial lesions—all features suggestive of a primary lung carcinoma with brain metastases. However, further investigations confirmed disseminated cryptococcosis, without evidence of malignancy. The patient was successfully treated with a course of antifungals. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first reported case of dissemintated cryptococcosis in an immunocompetent adult male, simulating as primary lung carcinoma with brain metastases.


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