Gianotti-Crosti syndrome (papular acrodermatitis of childhood) in the era of a viral recrudescence and vaccine opposition

Alexander K C Leung, Consolato Maria Sergi, Joseph M Lam, Kin Fon Leong
World Journal of Pediatrics: WJP 2019, 15 (6): 521-527

BACKGROUND: Gianotti-Crosti syndrome is characterized by an acute onset of a papular or papulovesicular eruption with a symmetrical distribution.

DATA SOURCES: A PubMed search was conducted using Clinical Queries with the key terms "Gianotti-Crosti syndrome" OR "papular acrodermatitis". The search strategy included meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, clinical trials, observational studies, and reviews. This paper is based on, but not limited to, the search results.

RESULTS: The eruption of Gianotti-Crosti syndrome is found predominantly on the cheeks, extensor surfaces of the extremities, and buttocks. There is a sparing of antecubital and popliteal fossae as well as palms, soles, and mucosal surfaces. Although often asymptomatic, the lesions may be mildly to moderately pruritic. Gianotti-Crosti syndrome is most common in children between 1 and 6 years of age. The Epstein-Barr virus and the hepatitis B virus are the most common pathogens associated with Gianotti-Crosti syndrome. No treatment for Gianotti-Crosti syndrome is necessary because it is self-limited. In an era of vaccine hesitancy and refusal, Gianotti-Crosti syndrome may be important to mention to parents, because it can occur and trigger alarmism.

CONCLUSIONS: Gianotti-Crosti syndrome is mainly a disease of early childhood, characterized by an acute onset of a papular or papulovesicular eruption with a symmetrical distribution. With the advent of more universal vaccination against hepatitis B virus, Epstein-Barr virus has become the most common etiologic agent of Gianotti-Crosti syndrome. Few cases of post-vaccination Gianotti-Crosti syndrome have been reported. Currently, the emphasis should be placed on its self-limiting attribution.

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