How are the Centor criteria scored for group A streptococcal (GAS) pharyngitis (strep throat)?

Updated: May 06, 2020
  • Author: John R Acerra, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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One point is awarded for each of the criteria met, with patients scoring 0-1 unlikely to have GAS infection and patients with a score of 4 more likely to have GAS. A clinical diagnosis of GAS infection using these criteria can result in an overestimation of the incidence of streptococcal pharyngitis, as many bacterial and viral cases of pharyngitis can be indistinguishable on clinical grounds. This can lead to an overtreatment of pharyngitis with antibiotics. [13] In adults, the positive predictive value of the Centor criteria for predicting GAS pharyngitis is around 40% if 3 criteria are met, and about 50% if 4 criteria are met. [14] These criteria along with other clinical features should be used to guide treatment for pharyngitis in adults. A modified version of the Centor score, in which age is also taken account (and which is also called the McIsaac score), can be used in diagnosis as well. [15, 16]

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