Which physical findings suggest peritonsillar abscesses (PTAs)?

Updated: Sep 03, 2020
  • Author: Jorge Flores, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Physical findings of peritonsillar abscess include the following:

  • Mild/moderate distress

  • Fever

  • Tachycardia

  • Dehydration

  • Drooling, salivation, trouble handling oral secretions

  • Trismus resulting from pain from inflammation and spasm of masticator muscles

  • Hot potato/muffled voice

  • Rancid or fetor breath

  • Cervical lymphadenitis in the anterior chain

  • Asymmetric tonsillar hypertrophy

  • Localized fluctuance

  • Inferior and medial displacement of the tonsil

  • Contralateral deviation of the uvula

  • Erythema of the tonsil

  • Exudates on the tonsil

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