Skip to main content Accessibility help

Reversible hearing loss following cryptococcal meningitis: case study

  • W L Neo (a1), N Durisala (a2) and E C Ho (a1)



Sensorineural hearing loss is a recognised complication of cryptococcal meningitis. The mechanism of hearing loss in patients with cryptococcal meningitis is different from that in bacterial meningitis.

Case report:

An immune-competent man with cryptococcal meningitis presented with sudden onset, bilateral, severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction. He was initially evaluated for cochlear implantation. However, he had a significant recovery; he no longer required surgery and was able to cope without a hearing aid.


Typically, cochlear implantation is performed with some urgency in patients with hearing loss post-bacterial meningitis, because of the risk of labyrinthitis ossificans. However, this process has not been described in patients with cryptococcal meningitis. Furthermore, patients with hearing loss associated with cryptococcal meningitis have shown varying degrees of reversibility. In this case report, hearing loss from cryptococcal meningitis is compared with that from bacterial meningitis, and the need for cochlear implantation in patients with cryptococcal meningitis is discussed.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Wei Li Neo, Blk 22 Queen's Close #17–157, Singapore 140022 E-mail:


Hide All

Presented at the 30th Politzer Society Meeting and 1st World Congress of Otology, 30 June – 3 July 2015, Niigata, Japan.



Hide All
1Hughes, KV 3rd, Green, JD Jr, Alvarez, S, Reimer, R.Vestibular dysfunction due to cryptococcal meningitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery 1997;116:536–40
2Chayakulkeeree, M, Perfect, JR.Cryptococcosis. Infect Dis Clin North Am 2006;65:507–44
3Lewis, JL, Rabinovich, S.The wide spectrum of cryptococcal infections. Am J Med 1972;53:315–21
4Day, JN, Hoang, TN, Duong, AV, Hong, CT, Diep, PT, Campbell, JI et al. Most cases of cryptococcal meningitis in HIV-uninfected patients in Vietnam are due to a distinct amplified fragment length polymorphism-defined cluster of cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii VN1. J Clin Microbiol 2011;49:658–64
5Pukkila-Worely, R, Mylonakis, E.Epidemiology and management of cryptococcal meningitis: developments and challenges. Expert Opin Pharmacother 2008;9:551–60
6Wang, HC, Chang, WN, Lui, CC, Peng, JP, Huang, CR, Chang, HW et al. The prognosis of hearing impairment complicating HIV-negative cryptococcal meningitis. Neurology 2005;65:320–2
7Moberly, AC, Naumann, IC, Cordes, SR.Cryptococcal meningitis with isolated otologic symptoms. Am J Otolaryngol 2010;31:4953
8Low, WK.Cryptococcal meningitis: implications for the otologist. ORL J Otorhinolaryngology Relat Spec 2002;64:35–7
9Maslan, MJ, Graham, MD, Flood, LM.Cryptococcal meningitis: presentation as sudden deafness. Am J Otol 1985;6:435–7
10Mori, T, Suzuki, H, Hiraki, N, Hashida, K, Ohbuchi, T, Katoh, A.Prediction of hearing outcomes by distortion product otoacoustic emissions in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Auris Nasus Larynx 2011;38:564–9
11Mayer, JM, Chevalier, X, Albert, E, Casteran, JM, Boutin, B, Ponsot, G et al. Reversible hearing loss in a patient with cryptococcosis. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1990;116:962–4
12Igarishi, M, Weber, SC, Alford, BR, Coats, AC, Jerger, J.Temporal bone findings in cryptococcal meningitis. Arch Otolaryngol 1975;101:577–83
13McGill, T.Mycotic infections of the temporal bone. Arch Otolaryngol 1978;104:140–4
14Harada, T, Sando, I, Myers, EN.Temporal bone histopathology in deafness due to cryptococcal meningitis. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 1979;88:630–6
15Caye-Thomson, P, Dam, MS, Omland, SH, Mantoni, M.Cochlear ossification in patients with profound hearing loss following bacterial meningitis. Acta Otolaryngol 2012;132:720–5


Reversible hearing loss following cryptococcal meningitis: case study

  • W L Neo (a1), N Durisala (a2) and E C Ho (a1)


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed