What is the role of imaging studies in the diagnosis 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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  • Imaging studies generally are not indicated for uncomplicated viral or streptococcal pharyngitis.

  • Lateral neck film should be taken in patients with suspected epiglottitis or airway compromise.

  • Soft tissue neck CT can be used if concern for abscess or deep-space infection exists; however, peritonsillar abscess is almost always a clinical diagnosis. Imaging is rarely needed for diagnosis.

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