How are tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess (PTA) diagnosed?

Updated: Apr 06, 2020
  • Author: Udayan K Shah, MD, FACS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Tonsillitis and PTA are clinical diagnoses. Testing is indicated when GABHS infection is suspected. Throat cultures are the criterion standard for detecting GABHS. For patients in whom acute tonsillitis is suspected to have spread to deep neck structures (ie, beyond the fascial planes of the oropharynx), radiologic imaging using plain films of the lateral neck or computed tomography (CT) scanning with contrast is warranted. In cases of PTA, CT scanning with contrast is indicated.

See Workup for more detail.


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