Peritonsillar abscess: Recurrence rate and the indication for tonsillectomy

Jona Kronenberg*, Michael Wolf, George Leventon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two hundred ninety patients treated for peritonsillar abscess (PTA) between 1970 and 1982 were reviewed. The patients were divided into those with a history of recurrent tonsillitis prior to developing PTA (72 patients, 25%), and those without (218 patients, 75%). The patients in the first group had four times more recurrences than those in the second group (40% versus 9.6%). Patients older than 40 years were found to have a lower incidence of throat infections than younger patients, and no PTA recurrences were observed. Neither subsequent tonsillitis nor recurrent PTA was observed among 72 patients (25%) who underwent tonsillectomy 6 to 12 weeks after PTA. The pre-PTA history was found to be a dominant factor in determining the need for tonsillectomy. In patients who suffered from recurrent tonsillitis prior to PTA, tonsillectomy is recommended. In those with a single episode of PTA and no history of tonsillitis, tonsillectomy is not indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-84
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987


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