Inflammation of the pharyngeal tonsils that can extend to the adenoid and lingual tonsils
May be acute or chronic
Typical viral infection: Mild and of limited duration
The inflammatory response to cell damage by viruses or bacteria may result in hyperemia and fluid exudation.
Bacterial infection (group A beta-hemolytic streptococci)
Viral infection (herpes simplex virus, Epstein-Barr virus, adenovirus, measles virus)
Viral tonsillitis is more common than bacterial tonsillitis.
Bacterial infection occurs more commonly in the winter.
Chronic upper airway obstruction
Sleep disturbance or sleep apnea
Failure to thrive
Eating or swallowing disorders
Cardiac valvular disease
Glomerulonephritis (group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus )
Rheumatic fever (group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus )
Acute poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis (group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus )
Cervical lymph node abscesses
Mild to severe sore throat
Muscle and joint pain
Pain, commonly referred to the ears
Constant urge to swallow
Constricted feeling in the back of the throat
Voice changes (thicker or deeper voice)
Swollen, tender submandibular lymph nodes
Generalized inflammation of the pharyngeal wall
Swollen tonsils projecting from between the pillars of the fauces and exuding white or yellow follicles (see Tonsillitis)
Purulent drainage with application of pressure to tonsillar pillars
Uvula that’s possibly edematous and inflamed
Soft palate petechiae
Diagnostic Test Results-Laboratory
A throat culture may reveal the infecting organism (gold standard).
A serum white blood cell count usually reveals leukocytosis.
Antistreptococcal antibody titers are elevated.
Anesthetic throat lozenges
Adequate fluid intake
Rest periods as needed
Acetaminophen for fever and pain
Antibiotics, such as penicillins or amoxicillin, erythromycin, or cephalexin (if allergic to penicillin) as first-line agents for streptococcal infection; possibly azithromycin or clarithromycin as second-line agents
Incision and drainage of peritonsillar abscess
Possible tonsillectomy (for recurrent tonsillitis)