Last revised by John Reid Mathieson on 13 Dec 2022

Serpiginous means creeping from one place to another. In medicine, it was originally, and still is commonly, applied to skin lesions that spread with an undulating border. However, radiologists often erroneously use the term in a manner synonymous with serpentine to mean tortuous, especially when describing blood vessels 2-4.

History and etymology

It derives from the Latin word serpīgo, which, like the Greek derivative herpes (ἕρπης), means "a creeping" 5,6. In now archaic English usage, serpigo refers to creeping skin diseases such as ringworm. Both serpigo and the English word serpent are derived from the Latin serpĕre, meaning "to creep" 1,5.

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.