Volume 103, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Clinical worsening or new manifestation of cryptococcal disease following initiation of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) in an HIV patient is a hallmark of cryptococcal immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (C-IRIS). However, it can be difficult to distinguish IRIS from worsening or new infection. Here, we present a case of severe C-IRIS involving multiple cerebellar, spinal, and intradural abscesses and spinal arachnoiditis 7 months after ART initiation in an AIDS patient with uncertain prior ART compliance. He had multiple prior episodes of cryptococcal meningitis with complications necessitating ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement and was on suppressive fluconazole when he developed worsening brain manifestations. He received empiric anti-cryptococcal re-induction without improvement. All cerebrospinal fluid cultures remained sterile, with negative PCR testing, and his condition continued to worsen prior to corticosteroid initiation. Ultimately, C-IRIS was diagnosed by brain biopsy. This case demonstrates an extreme in severity of C-IRIS and in the timeline of presentation after ART initiation.


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  • Received : 12 Jan 2020
  • Accepted : 23 Mar 2020
  • Published online : 27 Apr 2020
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