What are less common causes of pharyngitis (sore throat)?

Updated: May 06, 2020
  • Author: John R Acerra, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Other causes of pharyngitis

  • Oral thrush is due to candidal species, usually in patients who are immunocompromised. It may be common in young children and presents with whitish plaques in the oropharynx.

  • Other causes include dry air, allergy/postnasal drip, chemical injury, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), smoking, neoplasia, and endotracheal intubation.

  • A rare but life-threatening cause of pharyngitis in young adults is Lemierre's syndrome. This condition is usually caused by the anaerobic bacterium, Fusobacterium necrophorum, and is characterized by a oropharyngeal infection with evidence of septic thrombophlebitis. The incidence is approximately one in a million, but it should be considered when a critically ill patient presents with pharyngitis. [19]

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