Agostino Crosti

Agostino Crosti (1896 – 1988) was an Italian dermatologist.

Crosti produced more than 170 publications on various aspects of dermatology and venereology including melanoma; Paget disease; localization factors of skin diseases; eczema; atopy; and the aetiology of bullous dermatoses in relation to presumed viral action.

Crosti was Chair of the Milan School of Dermatology for 21 years. Under his leadership, the Clinic, half-destroyed during World War II, became a world renown dermatological teaching and research institute.

Eponymously remembered for his descriptions of Crosti syndrome (1951) and Gianotti-Crosti syndrome (1955)

  • Born on February 16, 1896
  • 1920 – Graduated medicine from Pavia University
  • 1924 – Dermosyphilopathic Clinic under Agostini Pasini (1875-1944), the first chair of the School of Dermatology, Milan
  • 1930 – Professor of Clinical Dermatology and Syphilology at the University of Perugia
  • 1939 – Chair of dermatology and dean of faculty, University of Palermo
  • 1945-1966 Chair of the School of Dermatology, Milan as first successor to the Pasini.
  • Died on September 22, 1988

Medical Eponyms

Crosti syndrome (1951): reticulohistiocytoma of the back

Crosti reported on seven patients with ‘reticulo-histiocytoma of the back’ who presented with figurate erythematous plaques and nodules on the back or lateral trunk. Reticulohistiocytoma of the back was later classified as a primary cutaneous follicle center lymphoma (PCFCL).

Gianotti-Crosti syndrome (1955): AKA papular acrodermatitis of childhood or infantile papular acrodermatitis

A non-itching erythematous papular eruption on the face and limbs associated with enlarged lymph nodes and an enlarged liver. [aka Crosti-Gianotti syndrome; Gianotti disease; Gianotti syndrome]

In 1953 Ferdinando Gianotti (1920-1984), a resident in Crosti’s department, examined a child with a monomorphous erythematous papular rash confined to the extensor surfaces of the arms and legs. In the following months, he saw a number of patients with identical skin findings. Gianotti published the first reports as a solo author in 1955.

Crosti and Gianotti identified 8 additional cases and the two published an article together titled “Dermatosi infantile eruttiva acroesposta di probabile origine virosica” [Acro located infantile eruptive dermatosis probably of viral origin] in 1956 and 1957. Crosti, as department head, was listed as first author and the condition was initially identified as Crosti-Gianotti syndrome

1979 – Gianotti stated that this eruption was exclusively associated with hepatitis B virus and proposed the term papulovesicular acro-located syndromes for similar eruptions not associated with hepatitis B virus

1992 – Caputo et al examined 308 case of patients hospitalized. Photographs were examined by a panel of experts to determine whether it was possible to distinguish between papular acrodermatitis of childhood and papulovesicular acrolocated syndromes solely on the basis of cutaneous signs. a They found a significant overlapping of the two types of the disease and that the blind survey of photographs of the patients revealed that a distinction between the forms was not clinically possible.

This prompted investigators to propose the term Gianotti-Crosti syndrome for all similar acrally
located eruption

Gianotti-Crosti syndrome is considered a distinctive but nonspecific, cutaneous, eruptive pattern with valid and reproducible diagnostic criteria. In addition to hepatitis B virus, the syndrome has been related to an increasing number of underlying viral and bacterial sources, most commonly Epstein-Barr virus and occasionally immunization (polio, diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus, and measles-mumps-rubella vaccines)

Major Publications



Eponymous terms


the person behind the name

Associate Professor Curtin Medical School, Curtin University. Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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