Aspergillosis infection over 20 years: a case report of probable vascular invasion in central nervous system.

Aspergillosis infection over 20 years: a case report of probable vascular invasion in central nervous system.

BMC Neurol. 2020 Sep 11;20(1):342

Authors: Zhang Y, Wu X, Hu YP

BACKGROUND: Aspergillosis infection of central nervous system (CNS) is rare and fatal. Diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis remains difficult. Aspergillosis of CNS can be an acute, subacute, or chronic onset, and the longest course of the disease was currently reported to be 4 years. Here, we report a case with recurrent headache over 20 years.
CASE PRESENTATION: A 54-year-old man was admitted to our neurological disease ward due to intermittent throbbing headache lasting for more than 20 years that had grown notably worse over the past week. The headache was localized to the side of his head blown by a cold wind. He also experienced nausea and vomiting when the headache became severe. The headache usually lasted for 3-4 h after he was blown by the cold wind, though he had no fever. The neurological examination was normal. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain was negative for parenchymal and meningeal lesions. However, the case had increased intracranial pressure (ICP), and elevated protein level in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Aspergillus fumigatus was found in CSF by nanopore targeted sequencing (NTS) and in blood by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Aspergillus fumigatus-specific antibody IgG was 104.62 AU/mL, aspergillus galactomannan (GM) antigen was 3.27 μg/L, D-dimer was 3.25 mg/L and fibrinogen degradation product was 11.50 mg/L, which were markedly higher than the normal levels. The patient was prescribed by voriconazole. After the treatment of 14 days, the ICP, CSF protein level, Aspergillus fumigatus-specific antibody IgG, GM antigen, D-dimer and fibrinogen degradation product returned normal. Aspergillus was disappeared by NTS test of CSF. His headache has never occurred again after blowing by a cold wind.
CONCLUSIONS: This report reveals that aspergillosis infection of CNS can last for more than 20 years and the major symptom is only intermittent throbbing headache in an immunocompetent patient. Vascular invasion is probably the mechanism of headache in our case with CNS aspergillosis infection. Performing high-throughput gene sequencing technology in CSF is important when the pathogen is not determined for the patients with suspected CNS infection.

PMID: 32917165 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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