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Journal of Investigative Medicine ; 71(1):235, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2314734


Case Report: Cryptococcosis is an opportunistic infection caused by the encapsulated yeast Cryptococcus, with C. neoformans and C. gattii being the most common species to cause human disease. Immunocompromised individuals are predisposed to infections with C. neoformans, which has known predilection to CNS and pulmonary lymph nodes. We present a unique case of disseminated cryptococcosis in the setting of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), cirrhosis, tumor necrosis factor inhibitor use and steroid use for COVID19. Method(s): A single-patient case report was conducted after IRB approval. Case Presentation: A 55-year-old woman with uncontrolled diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis on adalimumab, hepatitis C status post boceprevir, cirrhosis, former IV drug use, and ESRD on hemodialysis via bovine arterial-venous fistula graft presented with worsening dyspnea, cough, and altered mental status. Three months prior, patient was admitted to an outside hospital for COVID19, complicated by pulmonary embolism status post anticoagulation therapy. Patient was treated with an unknown steroid regimen, which was continued by a second outside facility when symptoms failed to improve. Patient then presented to our facility 24 hours after discharge due to continued symptoms. On admission, patient was noted to have altered mentation and hypoxia with pulmonary edema on chest x-ray and was urgently hemodialyzed. Further work-up was obtained due to non-resolving symptoms, including blood and sputum cultures, cocci serology and QuantiFERON gold. CT chest revealed bilateral consolidations. Patient was started on antibiotics for presumed hospital-acquired pneumonia. During the hospital stay, preliminarily blood cultures grew yeast and patient was started on Micafungin. However, Micafungin was changed to Liposomal Amphotericin B as ovoid structures seen on gram stain could not confirm nor rule out cryptococcus. Subsequent bronchial wash and bronchoalveolar lavage cultures, as well as final blood cultures resulted Cryptococcus neoformans. Serum cryptococcus antigen returned reactive, titer 1:512. Antibiotics were discontinued and Isavuconazonium was started with Liposomal Amphotericin B. Due to recurrent headaches, lumbar puncture was obtained and revealed lymphocytic pleocytosis without cryptococcal antigenicity. Patient completed 14 days of Liposomal Amphotericin B and Isavuconazole with continuation of Isavuconazole upon discharge. Conclusion(s): Disseminated cryptococcosis in non-HIV patients is rare in the modern HIV era. Clinicians should be aware and include it in their differential of any patient with multiple risk factors for opportunistic infection. In patients with cirrhosis and ESRD, treatment is limited given altered pharmacokinetics. Studies have shown improved survival with the addition of Isavuconazole in patients with disseminated cryptococcosis with CNS involvement in the setting of chronic liver disease and ESRD.

Journal of Investigative Medicine ; 71(1):215, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2313060


Case Report: West Nile Virus (WNV) was first isolated from the West Nile district of Northern Uganda in 1937, but was first detected in the United States well over half a century later in 1999. The arthropod-borne virus has since persisted, with 2,401 cases reported to the CDC on average annually. The infection typically causes a nonspecific acute systemic febrile illness with occasional gastrointestinal and skin manifestations;however, in less than 1% of infected patients, it can cause severe and potentially fatal neuroinvasive disease, presenting as meningitis, encephalitis or acute flaccid paralysis. Immunosuppression is one of the risk factors associated with the development of neuroinvasive disease, and chemotherapy thus places patients at risk. Uterine leiomyosarcoma is a rare gynecological malignancy. Palliative chemotherapy is common in late stage disease, but may predispose patients to conditions that present as neutropenic fever, leading to a diagnostic conundrum. This is the first case report where patient with neutropenic fever was found to have West Nile neuroinvasive disease, so it is important to include West Nile disease in the differential diagnosis. Case Description: This is a case of a 45-year-old female with history of diabetes, hypothyroidism and recently diagnosed uterine leiomyosarcoma status post tumor debulking with metastasis on palliative chemotherapy with gemcitabine that presented to the Emergency Room for a fever of 103.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Given the history of advanced leiomyosarcoma, the patient was admitted for neutropenic fever with an absolute neutrophil count of 1000. During the hospitalization, the patient became acutely altered and confused. CT head without contrast and lumbar puncture were performed. Due to clinical suspicion of meningitis, she was started on broad spectrum antibiotics. Lumbar puncture revealed leukocytosis of 168 with lymphocytic predominance and elevated protein level in the cerebrospinal fluid, therefore acyclovir was started due to high suspicion of viral meningoencephalitis. An EEG showed severe diffuse encephalopathy as the patient was persistently altered. A broad workup of infectious etiology was considered including HIV, syphilis, hepatitis A, B, C, COVID-19, adenovirus, pertussis, influenza, WNV, HHV6, coccidiomycosis, aspergillus, and tuberculosis. Patient was ultimately found to have elevated IgM and IgG titers for West Nile Virus. Discussion(s): It is important to consider a broad spectrum of diagnosis in patients with metastatic carcinoma presenting with new-onset fever and acute encephalopathy. This includes working up for other causes of altered mental status including cardiac, neurologic, psychiatric, endocrine, metabolic, electrolyte, drug, and infectious etiology. While uncommon in the healthy population, WNV encephalitis should be on the radar for any patient who is immunocompromised or on immunosuppressive therapy, especially those who present with a neutropenic fever.

Journal of Investigative Medicine ; 71(1):183, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2312150


Case Report: This is a 50-year-old man that presented to the ED complaining of generalized weakness and acute loss of ability to ambulate which has been progressing for a month. Patient began having left arm and leg weakness, which started in his fingertips of his left upper extremity and soon moved proximally to upper left arm. Symptoms then progressed to right upper and lower arms. Symptoms further continued to progress making the patient bedridden. On presentation, CT head showed a C1/C2 subluxation possibly chronic without significant focal soft tissue swelling. CT cervical spine showed C1-C2 subluxation, possibly chronic. MRI of brain was unremarkable pre and postcontrast without focal findings or abnormal enhancement and showed redemonstration of the C1-C2 subluxation as described on CT scan. MRI of cervical spine showed at the level of C1 there is spinal canal stenosis. However, there is no direct pressure upon the cord/medulla. Upon evaluation, patient had significant motor weakness and required maximal assistance for movement. Patient was moreover noted to have flaccidity of muscles associated with weakness with no bulbar weakness. Patient had no difficulty in breathing or with speech. A lumbar tap was performed which showed elevated protein, WBC, and glucose. Upon further investigation, patient stated that he received his (3rd dose) of the Moderna Vaccine for Covid-19 about a month before the onset of symptoms and felt fine. Two weeks later, he began experiencing subjective fevers, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fatigue that lasted for a week and then self-resolved. Approximately another two weeks later is when patient began noticing his neurological symptoms. Possible Guillain-Barre Syndrome post Campylobacter Jejuni (C. Jejuni) infection vs. post Covid-19 vaccine induced GBS was suspected at this point and patient was started on Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG). Stool cultures were collected for C.Jejuni which came back negative. Gastrointestinal Pathogen Panel PCR Feces also came back negative. Patient was discharged to a rehab center and planned to receive another round of IVIG for 5 days. Conclusion(s): Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a rare immune-mediated neurological disorder affecting peripheral nerves and nerve roots, that presents as acute sensorimotor neuropathy starting with distal paresthesia that progresses to weakness of legs and arms, noteably, flaccid paralysis. GBS has several triggers namely infections such as C. jejuni, cytomegalovirus, M. pneumoniae, Epstien-Barr virus and Zika virus. There has also been several case reports and studies that have shown increased incidence of GBS vaccines such as influenza vaccine. Furthermore, there has been several studies that have linked GBS to COVID-19 vaccine. With COVID-19 cases continuing to persist, and increasing advocacy for vaccination against the disease, GBS should be considered as very rare but possible side effect of the vaccine.