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Pharyngitis

Pratha Muthiah, MD, MPH and Jason Chao, MD, MS Reviewed 06/2020
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Acute or chronic inflammation of the pharyngeal mucosa and underlying structures of the throat

  • Group A Streptococcus (GAS) pharyngitis is notable for preventable suppurative (e.g., re...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Sore throat

  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) or pain on swallowing (odynophagia)

  • Cough (uncommon in GAS pharyngitis)

  • Hoarseness; “hot potato” voice

  • Fever

  • Anorexia

  • Chills

  • Malaise; fatigue

  • Hea...

TREATMENT

Treatment is largely for symptomatic relief, unless bacterial infection is confirmed or highly suspected. 

GENERAL MEASURES

Conservative therapy recommended for most cases (unless bacterial et...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Complete the full course of antibiotic therapy, regardless of symptom response.

  • Patients are generally noninfectious after 24 hours of antibiotics.

  • Follow-up cultur...

REFERENCES

1
Shulman ST, Bisno AL, Clegg HW, et al. Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis and management of group A streptococcal pharyngitis: 2012 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of ...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Baugh RF, Archer SM, Mitchell RB, et al; for American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. Clinical practice guideline: tonsillectomy in children. Otolaryngol...

CODES

ICD10

  • J31.1 Chronic nasopharyngitis

  • A54.5 Gonococcal pharyngitis

  • B08.5 Enteroviral vesicular pharyngitis

  • A56.4 Chlamydial infection of pharynx

  • J02.9 Acute pharyngitis, unspecified

  • J02 Acute pharyngiti...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Most cases of pharyngitis are viral and do not require antibiotics.

  • The risk associated with undiagnosed and untreated group A streptococcal infection is for rheumatic sequelae—a rare c...

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