Peritonsillar abscess laboratory findings

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Prince Tano Djan, BSc, MBChB [2]

Overview

The diagnosis of peritonsillar abscess may be made without the use of laboratory findings however, some nonspecific laboratory findings may be helpful. Complete blood count with differential usually shows leukocytosis with neutrophilic predominance. Serum electrolytes may be useful in patients presenting with dehydration. Gram stain, culture and sensitivity for sample after abscess drainage may yield the causative organism however, emperic therapy should be initiated without delaying for culture results. A routine throat culture for group A streptococcus may be helpful as well.[1][2][3][4][5]

Laboratory findings

Although the diagnosis of peritonsillar abscess may be made without the use of laboratory findings, the following nonspecific laboratory findings may be seen:[1][2][3][4][5]

  • This usually shows leukocytosis with neutrophilic predominance
  • This is useful too in patients presenting with dehydration
  • Gram stain, culture and sensitivity for sample after abscess drainage.
  • Emperic therapy should be initiated and modified accordingly when results are ready.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Powell EL, Powell J, Samuel JR, Wilson JA (2013). "A review of the pathogenesis of adult peritonsillar abscess: time for a re-evaluation". J Antimicrob Chemother. 68 (9): 1941–50. doi:10.1093/jac/dkt128. PMID 23612569.
  2. 2.0 2.1 L. Michaels, H.B. Hellquist Ear, nose and throat histopathology (2nd ed.)Springer-Verlag, London (2001), pp. 281–286
  3. 3.0 3.1 Passy V (1994). "Pathogenesis of peritonsillar abscess". Laryngoscope. 104 (2): 185–90. doi:10.1288/00005537-199402000-00011. PMID 8302122.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Blair AB, Booth R, Baugh R (2015). "A unifying theory of tonsillitis, intratonsillar abscess and peritonsillar abscess". Am J Otolaryngol. 36 (4): 517–20. doi:10.1016/j.amjoto.2015.03.002. PMID 25865201.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Herzon FS, Martin AD (2006). "Medical and surgical treatment of peritonsillar, retropharyngeal, and parapharyngeal abscesses". Curr Infect Dis Rep. 8 (3): 196–202. PMID 16643771.

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