Adenoiditis natural history, complications and prognosis

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Adenoiditis Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Adenoiditis from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


Diagnostic Criteria

History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings

X Ray



Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy


Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mahshid Mir, M.D. [2]


If left untreated, most of the patients with recurrent adenoiditis may progress to develop chronic adenoiditis, recurrent sinusitis and recurrent otitis media. Common complications of adenoiditis include sleep apnea, sinusitis, speech abnormalities, and otitis media. Acute adenoiditis is usually self limited. With medical and surgical treatment, the prognosis of adenoidtis is usually good.

Natural History

  • Acute adenoiditis will usually present with:[1]
  • It is usually combined with tonsilitis due to close anatomical location.
  • Acute adenoiditis usually runs its course without complications and resolves within three to four days.
  • It is common to see the disease's symptoms in infants before 6 months.
  • Recurrent adenoiditis will usually not resolve itself and will require:[2]
  • If left untreated, recurrent adenoiditis may persist and recur over periods of time and lead to infectious complications.


Complications of adenoiditis are caused by persistence and/or spread of the responsible pathogen - usually bacteria. The complications of adenoiditis include the following:[1][3]


  • The prognosis for acute adenoiditis without treatment is usually good; the disease is usually self-limited and will resolve itself within 3-4 days.[1]
  • The prognosis for recurrent adenoiditis varies based on the presence of complications.[4]
  • With treatment, the prognosis of acute and recurrent adenoidtis is usually good.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Tonsillitis - NHS Choices".
  2. Stuck BA, Götte K, Windfuhr JP, Genzwürker H, Schroten H, Tenenbaum T (2008). "Tonsillectomy in children". Dtsch Arztebl Int. 105 (49): 852–60, quiz 860–1. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2008.0852. PMC 2689639. PMID 19561812.
  3. Rio AC, Franchi-Teixeira AR, Nicola EM (2008). "Relationship between the presence of tonsilloliths and halitosis in patients with chronic caseous tonsillitis". Br Dent J. 204 (2): E4. doi:10.1038/bdj.2007.1106. PMID 18037821.
  4. "Rheumatic fever: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia".