The most important throat-related symptoms suggestive of chronic tonsillitis as the main indication for adult tonsillectomy

Medicina (Kaunas). 2013;49(5):219-22.


Background and objective: The literature lacks data about the evaluation of throat-related symptoms proving chronic tonsillitis as the most common indication for adult tonsillectomy. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the most important throat-related symptoms suggestive of chronic tonsillitis in adults.

Material and methods: A prospective cohort study was carried out. The analysis of throat-related symptoms (complaints, tonsillitis rate, pharyngeal signs, and antistreptolysin-O titer) in 81 adults with histologically confirmed chronic tonsillitis was conducted.

Results: Recurrent tonsillitis was the most common complaint (74.1%). The mean number of tonsillitis episodes was 3.6 (SD, 1.9) times per year. There were no significant differences comparing the frequencies of all the analyzed pharyngeal signs (P>0.05). The antistreptolysin-O titer (mean, 279.8; SD, 211.6 UL) was pathological in 33.3% of patients. The study identified the most important throat-related symptoms revealing chronic tonsillitis: tonsillar cryptic debris (OR, 8.84; 95% CI, 1.93-40.53; P=0.005) and enlarged anterior cervical lymph nodes along with the frequency of tonsillitis episodes exceeding 3 times per year (OR, 8.27; 95% CI, 1.33-51.57; P=0.024). The classification accuracy of 85.2% was obtained.

Conclusions: Tonsillar cryptic debris and enlarged regional lymph nodes along with recurrent tonsillitis could support the diagnosis of chronic tonsillitis in adults when considering tonsillectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palatine Tonsil / pathology*
  • Pharynx / pathology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Tonsillectomy*
  • Tonsillitis / classification
  • Tonsillitis / pathology*
  • Tonsillitis / surgery*
  • Young Adult