gms | German Medical Science

80th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

20.05. - 24.05.2009, Rostock

Peritonsillar abscess – indication for tonsillectomy?

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author Gabriella Kecskés - University of Szeged Department of ENT, Szeged, Hungary
  • Patrice Tran Ba Huy - Hopital Lariboisiere, Paris, France
  • Herman Philippe - Hopital Lariboisiere, Paris, France

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. 80. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. Rostock, 20.-24.05.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. Doc09hnod472

doi: 10.3205/09hnod472, urn:nbn:de:0183-09hnod4720

Published: April 17, 2009

© 2009 Kecskés et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: The aim of this work was twofold: evaluate the actual recurrence rate of tonsillar or peritonsillar infection following peritonsillar abscess (PTA); and identify the factors which place the patient at risk of recurrence.

Methods: Retrospective study of 333 patients admitted in a tertiary ENT Emergency Centre in Hopital Lariboisiere with peritonsillar abscess between January 1999 and December 2000.

Inclusion criteria were: first episode of peritonsillar abscess, ascertained by positive aspiration or CT. Patients with history of abscess or interval tonsillectomy during or after the first episode were excluded. One hundred forty-six patients completed the inclusion criteria.Recurrence of the PTA or tonsillitis was evaluated by a questionnaire. 48 patients have completed the questionnaire, representing a 33% response rate.

Results: The study consisted of 26 males (54%) and 22 females (46%). The mean age was 32,31 years, ranging from 17 to 79 years. The mean follow up period was 5,4 years (4,1-7 years).

Recurrent PTA developed among seven patients (14,6%), four patients (8,33%) had one episode, three patients (6,25%) had 2 episodes of recurrence. The average delay was between the episodes of recurrence was 1,71 years (18 month-5 years). Among patients with positive medical history the recurrence rate of the PTA was remarkably higher (33,3%) than between patients without medical history (3.3%).

Conclusion: A 14,6% recurrence rate was evidenced, but with a considerable difference between patients with (33%) or without medical history (3.3%). This low rate which further suggests that indication for surgical treatment following PTA should remain minimal.