Small-bowel cryptococcosis diagnosed by double-balloon endoscopy in patient without human immunodeficiency virus
A 45-year-old man presented with a 2-year history of diarrhea and anasarca. His work involved opening tunnels and exploding rocks. He had no cardiovascular abnormalities or proteinuria. Celiac disease and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) serologies were negative. Total protein (2.6 g/dL), albumin (1.5 g/dL), ionized calcium (3.09 mg/dL), vitamin D (6.7 ng/mL), and immunoglobulin (IgM 29 mg/dL, IgG 357 mg/dL, IgA 60 mg/dL) levels were low. Sodium and potassium were normal.
Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy demonstrated erosions and patchy, whitish lesions in the second portion of the duodenum, suggestive of lymphangiectasia. Biopsies showed unspecific duodenitis. Colonoscopy was normal.
Computed tomography (CT) demonstrated thickness and lymphatic cystic lesions involving the duodenum, jejunum, pancreas, and retroperitoneum ([Fig. 1]). Owing to suspicion of protein-losing enteropathy, anterograde double-balloon endoscopy (DBE) was indicated. DBE showed whitish spots and nodularity in the second and third portions of the duodenum, and multiple subepithelial cystic lesions with lymphatic fluid extravasation at biopsy in the fourth portion of the duodenum and up to 150 cm of the jejunum ([Video 1]). Histopathology revealed lymphomononuclear infiltrate, granuloma ( [Fig.2]), and spores on mucicarmine and Grocott stains ([Fig. 3]), compatible with Cryptococcus neoformans.
Video 1 Computed tomography showed lymphatic cystic lesions involving the small bowel, confirmed by double-balloon endoscopy. Subepithelial duodenal and jejunal lesions with lymphatic fluid extravasation were observed, with great improvement after treatment.
The patient was hospitalized with intense headache, reduced visual acuity, and convulsions. He was diagnosed with systemic Cryptococcus infection, affecting central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and lymphatic system. Amphotericin B was given for 21 days with significant clinical improvement, followed by fluconazole 800 mg/day for 1 year. CT and laboratory tests returned to normal. DBE showed significant improvement ([Fig. 4]), with negative fungal histology.
The few reports of disseminated cryptococcosis mostly involve HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome  . Gastrointestinal tract symptoms on presentation are seldom described  . In this case of disseminated cryptococcosis in an immunocompetent, non-HIV patient, DBE was valuable in diagnosing and managing the small-bowel involvement .
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