Am Fam Physician. 2004 Mar 15;69(6):1465-70.


Sore throat is one of the most common reasons for visits to family physicians. While most patients with sore throat have an infectious cause (pharyngitis), fewer than 20 percent have a clear indication for antibiotic therapy (i.e., group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal infection). Useful, well-validated clinical decision rules are available to help family physicians care for patients who present with pharyngitis. Because of recent improvements in rapid streptococcal antigen tests, throat culture can be reserved for patients whose symptoms do not improve over time or who do not respond to antibiotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / diagnosis
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Pharyngitis / diagnosis*
  • Pharyngitis / etiology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Streptococcus pyogenes