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YK Ong, YH Goh, YL Lee
Correspondence: Dr Ong Yew Kwang, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction The disease pattern and management of peritonsillar infections in Singapore General Hospital are studied. Other objectives are to determine if a seasonal variation exists and to examine the role of routine bacterial cultures and interval tonsillectomy.
Methods This is a retrospective review of the management and outcome of patients with peritonsillar infections who were admitted acutely to Singapore General Hospital over a three-year period.
Results Of 185 patients studied, 151 (81.6 percent) had peritonsillar abscess or quinsy and 34 (18.4 percent) had peritonsillar cellulitis. There were 139 males and 46 females, with a racial predisposition among Malays (p value is less than 0.0005). There may be a seasonal variation with a bi-annual trend, though no correlation with upper respiration tract infections was noted. Treatment consisted mainly of incision and drainage (66 percent) or needle aspiration (34 percent). No significant difference in the length of stay was noted in patients receiving penicillin alone, penicillin with metronidazole, or broad-spectrum antibiotics (p value is equal to 0.062). Fourteen (7.6 percent) patients had recurrences, all of which occurred after the first month. Two patients (1 percent) had bilateral quinsy.
Conclusion Peritonsillar infections remain a common admitting diagnosis to the Otolaryngology department. A single episode of infection should no longer be an indication for tonsillectomy as the incidence of recurrence is low.
Keywords: antibiotics, peritonsillar cellulitis, peritonsillar infections, quinsy, tonsillectomy
Singapore Med J 2004; 45(3): 105-109