The patient with sore throat

Med Clin North Am. 2010 Sep;94(5):923-43. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2010.06.001.


Sore throat is a common medical complaint seen by the emergency practitioner, internist, pediatrician, and otolaryngologist. The differential for sore throat is vast. However, with a directed history this can often be narrowed down to 2 to 3 possible diagnoses. By paying particular attention to the associated symptoms and duration of symptoms, common self-limited etiologies like viral pharyngitis and nonstreptococcal tonsillitis can be distinguished from those that require more investigation, such as supraglottitis and tonsillar cancer. A sore throat is most commonly caused by an infectious, inflammatory, or neoplastic etiologic factor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Epiglottitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pharyngitis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Pharyngitis* / microbiology
  • Pharyngitis* / virology
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed