What are the diagnostic considerations for tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess (PTA)?

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

Consider infectious mononucleosis (MN) due to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in an adolescent or younger child with acute tonsillitis, particularly when it is accompanied by tender cervical, axillary, and/or inguinal nodes; splenomegaly; severe lethargy and malaise; and low-grade fever.

An individual with herpes simplex virus (HSV) pharyngitis presents with red, swollen tonsils that may have aphthous ulcers on their surfaces. Herpetic gingival stomatitis, herpes labialis, and hypopharyngeal and epiglottic lesions may be observed.


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