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Our Dermatol Online. 2013; 4(1): 108-109
DOI:.  10.7241/ourd.20131.27
Date of submission:  10.07.2012 / acceptance: 10.08.2012
Conflicts of interest: None



Ahmad Al Aboud

Dermatology Department, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Corresponding author: Dr. Dr. Ahmad Al Aboud     e-mail: ahmadalaboud@hotmail.com

Erich Urbach (1893-1946) is an Austrian-American dermatologist and allergy specialist [1-3] (Fig. 1). He made great contributions and publications in medicine and there were many medical conditions named after him. Table I shows listed these eponyms. Urbach was born on 29 July 1893, in Prague. He graduated from the University of Vienna under Wilhelm Kerl (1880-1945) in 1919 [1-3]. He worked at the Breslau skin clinic under Josef Jadassohn, and at the skin department of the Vienna Rothschild hospital under Hans Königstein. In 1929, he was habilitated (achieved the highest academic qualification) for skin and venereal diseases at the University of Vienna, becoming Dozent. He was subsequently an assistant physician at the II skin clinic with Wilhelm Kerl [1-3]. He migrated to USA in 1938 to become an associate in dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1939, he was Chief of the allergy department of the Jewish Hospital, Philadelphia [1-3]. He died in 1946, from coronary thrombosis. From, Table I, one can see that, the name of Erich Urbach, were linked to different medical conditions. However, all of these eponyms faded with time and being replaced by other terms. The eponyms linked to his name are no longer used in the current medical literature. Nevertheless, many dermatologists remember „Urbach’’, because of the synonym for Lipoid proteinosis; „Urbach-Wiethe disease’’, which is sometimes used to refer to this disease.
Figure 1. Erich Urbach (1893-1946). Courtesy, National Library of Medicine
The eponym
Extracellular cholesterinosis of 


Historically, this used to be a variant of Erythema Elevatum
Diutinum [4,5]; the other variant is ''Crocker-Williams Type'' [6].

Oppenhein-Urbach disease
Also called ''Oppenhein-Urbach syndrome'', and ''Urbach’s
syndrome''. This was a name for necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum [7-10]. Moriz Oppenheim (1876-1949), is an Austrian dermatologist.
Urbach-Königstein technique
Also called, ''Urbach-Königstein method or reaction”. It is a diagnostic
procedure for demonstrating antibodies in allergics [11].
Allergen administered percutaneous, cutaneous or intracutaneous causes a local reaction, which will develop into a blister when a cantharidal dressing is placed on it. 
Hans Königstein (1878-1954) is an Austrian physician.
Urbach-Wiethe disease
Also called ''Rössle-Urbach-Wiethe syndrome” [12,13]. But the name is Lipoid proteinosis. It is rare autosomal recessive genodermatosis, characterized by the deposition of hyaline material in the skin and mucosa, causing generalized thickening
and scarring (hyalinosis cutis et mucosae) [1].
Camillo Wiethe (1888-1949), is an Austrian otologist.
Robert Rössle (1876-1956), is a German pathologist.
Table I.  Medical eponyms named after Erich Urbach

1. Scully C, Langdon J, Evans J: Marathon of eponyms: 21 Urbach-Wiethe disease (Lipoid proteinosis). Oral Dis. 2011;17:729-30 2. Erich Urbach: A page in the internet.Whonamed it. © 1994 – 2012 Ole Daniel Enersen. Available online at; http://www.whonamedit.com/doctor.cfm/761.html 3. Stokes JH: Obituaries. Erich Urbach, M.D. Arch Dermatol. 1947;55:545-7. 4. Herzeberg JJ: [Extracellular cholesterinosis of Kerl-Urbach, a variant of erythema elevatum diutinum]. Arch Klin Exp Dermatol. 1958;205:477-96. 5. Urbach, E, Epstein E, Lorenz K: Beiträge zu einer physiologischen und pathologischen Chemie der Haut: Extrazelluläre Cholesterinose. Arch Derm Syph. 1932;166:243-72. 6. Schweig J:Erythema Elevatum Diutinum (Crocker-Williams Type), Society Transactions. Arch Derm Syph. 1944;50:220-1. 7. Klaber R: Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum (Urbach-Oppenheim). Proc R Soc Med. 1934;27:713-4. 8. Stuart AM: Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum (Urbach). Proc R Soc Med. 1944;37:288-9 9. Ronchese F, Schiff BL, Ronchese F, Schiff BL: Diabetic lipoidic necrobiotic dermatitis (necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum Urbach). R I Med J. 1949;32:139-41. 10. Degos R: [Cutaneous dyslipoidosis of Oppenhein-Urbach type]. Ann Dermatol Syphiligr (Paris). 1951;78:579-80. 11. Herraiz Ballestero L, Manrique Mom A: Passive transfer of experimental contact dermatitis with the Urbach-Koenigstein technique. Ann Allergy. 1945;3:435-9. 12. Holtz KH, Schulze W: [Pathogenesis and clinical aspects of hyalinosis of the skin and mucosa (Urbach-Wiethe lipoid proteinosis)]. Arch Dermatol Syph. 1951;192:206-37. 13. Katzenellenbogen I, Ungar: Lipoid proteinosis; reinvestigation of a case previously reported by Urbach and Wiethe in 1929. Dermatologica. 1957;115:23-35.



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