What monitoring is needed following treatment of pharyngitis (sore throat) in the emergency department?

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

See the list below:

  • Follow-up for GAS pharyngitis

    • A standardized protocol needs to be established at each institution or ED to ensure follow-up for patients with pending throat cultures. This is particularly challenging with unreliable patients and with a shift-dependent ED practice.

    • Whether or not they are given antibiotics, patients diagnosed with pharyngitis should follow up if symptoms do not improve within 72 hours.

    • Routine posttreatment throat cultures are unnecessary and may remain positive for several weeks. [2]

    • A follow-up culture should be taken if history or evidence of rheumatic fever or if symptoms are consistent with a relapse. [45]

  • Patients with infectious mononucleosis should be instructed to follow up with their physician in 1 week. These patients should also be advised to avoid contact sports. [17]

  • Viral pharyngitis generally requires no specific follow-up unless immunosuppression is suspected or symptoms worsen.

  • Patients with suspected malignancy should be referred to an otolaryngologist for follow-up.


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