Diagnosis of systemic cryptococcosis by fecal cytology in a dog

Thomas K. Graves, Anne M. Barger, Bethany Adams, Mark B. Krockenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 3-year-old Boxer was presented with progressive diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy of 5-months duration. The dog had watery black feces, a mature neutrophilia, and microcytic anemia. Cytologic evaluation of a direct fecal smear stained with Wright's-Giemsa revealed numerous encapsulated, narrow-based, budding organisms consistent with Cryptococcus sp. Pyogranulomatous inflammation and Cryptococcus organisms also were observed in ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspirates of the small intestine and mesenteric lymph nodes, and in histologic sections of colonic biopsies obtained by endoscopy. Multifocal chorioretinitis by fundic examination was consistent with systemic mycosis, and the reciprocal antigen titer (1600) on a cryptococcal antigen latex agglutination test for Cryptococcus neoformans was markedly increased. Using immunohistochemistry, the organism was identified further as C neoformans var. grubii (C neoformans var. neoformans serotype A). After 3 weeks of antifungal treatment, ultrasound examination revealed urinary bladder wall thickening, and Cryptococcus organisms were found in a urine sediment preparation. After 4 months of treatment, the dog was clinically normal and had no abnormal findings on CBC, serum biochemistry, urinalysis, or fecal cytology; however, the antigen titer remained unchanged, mesenteric lymphadenomegaly and jejunal wall thickening were still evident, and cytologic evaluation of fine-needles aspirates of the jejunal wall revealed budding Cryptococcus organisms. Intestinal involvement in dogs with cryptococcosis is rare, and diagnosis by fecal cytology has not been documented previously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-412
Number of pages4
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Cryptococcus
  • Cytology
  • Disseminated disease
  • Feces
  • Gastrointestinal tract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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