Central nervous system infection following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
BACKGROUND Central nervous system fungal infections (FI) are important complications and a cause of mortality in patients who receive hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). AIMS To study the clinical aspects of fungal encephalitis (FE). SETTINGS AND DESIGN The study was carried out at the HSCT Center of the Hospital de Clínicas, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil. MATERIALS AND METHODS Clinical records and autopsy reports from patients submitted to HSCT with a diagnosis of FE. RESULTS Twelve patients were diagnosed with FE presenting with lowered level of consciousness, hemiparesis and seizures. We were able to identify two subgroups regarding susceptibility to FE: (1) patients with early onset FI and severe leucopenia, and (2) patients with later onset FI with graft-versus-host disease using immunosuppressive drugs. Eleven of the patients died directly due to the neurological complication, all had post-mortem confirmation of the diagnosis of FI. CONCLUSIONS These clinical, paraclinical and temporal patterns may provide the opportunity for earlier diagnosis and interventions.