What is the pathophysiology of Gianotti-Crosti syndrome?

Updated: Aug 13, 2019
  • Author: Kara N Shah, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Although the original reports of Gianotti-Crosti syndrome (papular acrodermatitis of childhood) were attributed to acute infection with the hepatitis B virus, more recent studies have demonstrated that Gianotti-Crosti syndrome is more commonly associated with a number of other infectious agents, both viral and bacterial. In the United States, the agent that has been reported most frequently in association with Gianotti-Crosti syndrome is Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

The pathophysiologic process underlying Gianotti-Crosti syndrome remains unknown, although it is believed to represent an immunologic response to transient viremia or bacteremia, possibly a delayed-type hypersensitivity response. Deposition of circulating immune complexes in the dermis may play a role. Several studies have failed to demonstrate deposition of viral particles or bacteria within the dermis.


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