Open Access Open Badges Research article

Correlation of anti-fungal susceptibility with clinical outcomes in patients with cryptococcal meningitis

Chen-Hsiang Lee1, Tzu-Yao Chang1, Jien-Wei Liu1, Fang-Ju Chen1, Chun-Chih Chien2, Ya-Fen Tang2 and Cheng-Hsien Lu34*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

2 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

3 Department of Neurology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, 123 Ta-Pei Road, Kaohsiung, Niao-Sung District, 833, Taiwan

4 Department of Biological Science, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:361  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-361

Published: 20 December 2012



This study aimed to investigate the correlation of minimum inhibiting concentrations (MICs), obtained by broth micro-dilution, and clinical response in patients with cryptococcal meningitis.


Using retrospective analyses covering the period 2001–2010, factors affecting clinical therapeutic cure in patients with cryptococcal meningitis 10 weeks after the start of anti-fungal therapy were identified. Specific emphasis was placed on the role of anti-fungal susceptibility.


Of 46 patients with cryptococcal meningitis identified, 21 were cured after 10 weeks of treatment. Overall, 12 strains (26.1%) were resistant to fluconazole (>8 μg/ml) and 8 (17.4%) had an MIC >1 μg/ml for amphotericin B. Twenty-three patients received combination amphotericin B and fluconazole as their initial antifungal therapy, 17 were given amphotericin B only, five received fluconazole only, and one received a combination of amphotericin B and flucytosine. After 2 weeks, all patients received fluconazole (400–600 mg daily for 8 weeks at least, then 200 mg daily thereafter). The presence of isolates resistant to fluconazole (MIC >8 μg/ml; 4.8% vs. 44%, p < 0.01) were statistically significant among patients who were cured. Anti-fungal susceptibility, reflected by fluconazole MIC >8 μg/ml, was an independent predictor of therapeutic cure at 10-week evaluation (OR = 15.7; 95% CI: 1.8-135.9; p = 0.01), but higher MIC of amphotericin B (>1 μg/ml) was not.


The MICs of fluconazole, determined by the CLSI method, may be a potential predictor of therapeutic cure in patients with cryptococcal meningitis.

Cryptococcal meningitis; Fluconazole; Outcome; Susceptibility