Selected Topics: Psychiatric Emergencies| Volume 57, ISSUE 2, P203-206, August 2019

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Cryptococcal Meningoencephalitis Presenting as a Psychiatric Emergency



      Organic conditions can often mimic neuropsychiatric disorders, leading to delays in diagnosis and treatment for the most vulnerable populations presenting to the emergency department (ED).

      Case Report

      Here we discuss a case of cryptococcal meningoencephalitis seemingly consistent with psychosis on initial evaluation, and present strategies to recognize and treat this condition.

      Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?

      Due to the indolent time course of this disease, initial symptoms of altered mental status and personality changes may be attributed to drug use or psychiatric illness before more overt evidence for increased intracranial pressure and neurologic infection develops. It is important for emergency clinicians to maintain a high level of suspicion for this condition in at-risk patients and reassess them frequently during their ED visit.


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