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

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