Piotr Vasiliyevich Nikolskiy Петро Васильович Нікольський (1858-1940) was a Russian dermatologist
Nikolskiy published the first dermatological textbook of the USSR and published extensively on the history of dermatology in Russia
Eponymously remembered for his description of Nikolskiy sign in blistering dermatoses
- Born on September 1, 1858 in Usman, Tambov province, Russia
- 1877 – Commenced medical studies at University of Moscow, but transferred to St. Vladimir University in Kiev after a year.
- 1884 – Graduated medicine from St. Vladimir University; became assistant to Mikhail Ivanovich Stukovenkov, a student of Hebra, at the dermatology clinic in Kiev.
- 1894 – Provided first public description of the Nikolskiy sign at the Fifth Meeting of Russian Physicians.
- 1896 – Completed his dissertation on pemphigus foliaceus with 5 own patients and 17 descriptions from the literature
- 1898-1915 Professor and Head of the Department of Dermatology at Warsaw University School of Medicine. As a result of the world war, the Russian part of the University of Warsaw was moved to Rostov-on-Don (in present-day Ukraine).
- 1915-1930 Professor and head of the department of Dermatology and Venereology at the University School of Medicine in Rostov-on-Don, Russia
- Died 1940
Nikolsky sign (1894)
1894 – Nikolskiy gave his first public description of the mechanically induced detachment of the epidermal layer in a woman with pemphigus foliaceus, at the Fifth Meeting of Russian Physicians. Nikolskiy noticed a separation of clinically normal palmar skin in the patient after she had forcefully leaned on the scale platform as she slipped off the scale during her weight check.
1896 – Nikolskiy published his doctoral thesis and in subsequent publications presentations he
described 3 variants of the skin fragility phenomenon:
- the ability to remove the horny layer of skin far beyond the preexisting erosion, extending to a great distance on the normal-appearing skin, by pulling the remnant of a roof of a ruptured blister;
- the ability to remove large strips of horny layer from visibly normal skin areas at the periphery of existing lesions by lateral pressure with a finger; and
- the ability to dislodge the horny layer of normalappearing skin, revealing the moist surface of the underlying layer.
The Nikolskiy sign was made internationally known by Danlos (1900) and Dubreuilh (1901)
Ce fut le Prof. Stukovenkov qui le premier diagnostiqua un cas de pemphigus foliaceus Cazenave et ce fut sur 5 cas de cette maladie que je basai ma dissertation, dans laquelle j’étudiai le symptome de cette affection—instabilité de la couche cornée (diminution de Tadherence entre les couches épidermiques)—qui plus tard fut universellement connu sous le nom de signe de Nikolsky
It was Prof. Stukovenkov who first diagnosed a case of pemphigus foliaceus Cazenave and it was on 5 cases of this disease that I based my dissertation, in which I studied the symptom of this condition – instability of the stratum corneum (decrease in adherence between the epidermal layers) – which later was universally known as Nikolsky’s sign.
- Stukovenkov, Nikolʹskij PV, Die Reglementirung des Prostitutionswesens in Kieff : Bericht und statistische Arbeiten der medizinischen Gesellschaft. 1890
- Nikolskiy PV. The materials on the study of pemphigus foliaceus Cazenavi. Thesis. Kiev: The St. Vladimir Emperor University of Kiev, Department of Dermatology and Venereology; 1896 [in Russian].
- Nikolskiy PV. On symptomathology of pemphigus foliaceus Cazenavi (with description of three new disease cases and presentation of a patient). Kiev: St Vladimir Emperor University; 1898: 10 pp [in Russian].
- Nikolskiy PV. Trois nouveaux cas de pemphigus foliacé étudiés au point de vue de la symptomatologie. Bulletin de la Société française de dermatologie et de syphiligraphie 1898.
- Nikolskiy PV. K voprosu o vliânii uglekislyh vann Narzana na sosudistuû reakciû koži i o značenii ih v lečenii kožnyh bolěznej. 1913
- Nikolskiy PV. Instability of the stratum corneum in relation to mechanical influences. Medicinskaja Mysl 1922; 2: 65-71. Russian.
The correct spelling is Nikolskiy, rather than the more commonly written Nikolsky. If the transliteration is done specifically, both “I’s” are printed, the normal and the “Y Grec.” In Cyrillic [Нікольський], his name reads NIKOL:SKIJ and is pronounced in Russian with a soft “L”.
In relation to his date of death…
Available biographical sources failed to disclose any date of death. The New York Offices of the government of the USSR were not helpful. It is assumed that Dr Nikolsky is dead.Goodman 1953
- Shakeri A. Pyotr Vasilyevich Nikolsky-The Man Behind the Sign. JAMA Dermatol. 2018 Feb 1;154(2):181.
- Danlos HA. Dermatite herpétiforme avec diminution au niveau des parties saines de l’adhérence de la couche cornée (signe de Nikolsky.) Annales de dermatologie et de syphiligraphie. 1900; 2: 1164-1166
- Dubreuilh W. Le signe de Nikolsky dans le pemphigus. Annales de dermatologie et de syphiligraphie 1901; 2: 72-4.
- Goodman H. Nikolsky sign. Archives of dermatology and syphilology 1953; 68(3): 334-5.
- Arndt KA, Feingold DS. The sign of Pyotr Vasilyewich Nikolsky. N Engl J Med. 1970 May 14;282(20):1154-5.
- Salopek TG. Nikolsky’s sign: is it ‘dry’ or is it ‘wet’? Br J Dermatol. 1997 May;136(5):762-7.
- Grando SA, Grando AA, Glukhenky BT, Doguzov V, Nguyen VT, Holubar K. History and clinical significance of mechanical symptoms in blistering dermatoses: a reappraisal. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Jan;48(1):86-92.
- Farhi D. Histoire du signe de Nikolsky [History of Nikolsky’s sign]. La Revue du praticien. 2006 Sep 30; 56(14): 1618-21.
- Uzun S, Durdu M. The specificity and sensitivity of Nikolskiy sign in the diagnosis of pemphigus. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Mar;54(3):411-5
- Mignogna MD, Fortuna G, Leuci S, Ruoppo E, Marasca F, Matarasso S. Nikolsky’s sign on the gingival mucosa: a clinical tool for oral health practitioners. J Periodontol. 2008 Dec;79(12):2241-6.
- Juneja M. Nikolskiy’s sign revisited. J Oral Sci. 2008 Jun;50(2):213-4.
- van Gijn J, Gijselhart JP. Nikolsky en zijn teken [Nikolsky and his sign]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2011;155:A2846.
- Ganapati S. Eponymous dermatological signs in bullous dermatoses. Indian J Dermatol. 2014 Jan;59(1):21-3
- Maity S, Banerjee I, Sinha R, Jha H, Ghosh P, Mustafi S. Nikolsky’s sign: A pathognomic boon. J Family Med Prim Care. 2020 Feb 28;9(2):526-530
the person behind the name
BSc, MD from University of Western Australia. Junior Doctor currently working at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital with an interest in Dermatology and Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
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 |