(far″ĭn-jīt′ĭs) [pharyng- + -itis] Inflammation of the mucous membranes and lymphoid tissues of the pharynx, usually as a result of infection.
INCIDENCE: In the U.S., approx. 11 million are diagnosed annually with all forms of pharyngitis.
CAUSES: The disease typically is caused by viral or bacterial infections, including influenza virus, Streptococcus pyogenes, or Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Occasionally, diphtheria or Candida albicans is responsible.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS: The predominant symptom is throat pain. Fever, malaise, muscle aches, and painful swallowing are often present.
DIAGNOSIS: It is difficult to distinguish between viral and bacterial causes of sore throat based on symptoms alone; throat swabs may be taken to rule out a bacterial cause.
TREATMENT: Gargling with warm salty water provides topical relief. Analgesic drugs, fluids, throat lozenges, or topical anesthetics also are helpful. If clinical suspicion, rapid tests, or culture results identify streptococci, penicillin or an erythromycin is usually curative.
acute p. Inflammation of the pharynx with pain in the throat.
INCIDENCE: In the U.S., acute pharyngitis is the most common cause of sore throat and of sore throat and cough and is diagnosed in more than 1.9 million people a year.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS: Symptoms include malaise, fever, dysphagia, throat pain, and difficulty swallowing.
PATIENT CARE: Comfort measures for sore throat include gargling, e.g., with salty water, throat lozenges, or OTC topical anesthetics. Many patients benefit from rest, hydration, and analgesics. An appropriate antibiotic (if prescribed) is given when there is evidence of bacterial infection.
atrophic p. A chronic form of pharyngitis with some atrophy of mucous glands and abnormal secretion.
bacterial p. Severe, epidemic, pseudomembranous inflammation of the fauces and tonsils caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus. Other agents include Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Bacterial pharyngitis was formerly known as septic sore throat.
chronic p. Pharyngitis associated with pathology in the nose and sinuses, mouth breathing, excessive smoking, and chronic tonsillitis. Dryness and irritation of the throat and a cough characterize this condition. Intranasal medication and removal of pathological factors in sinuses and tonsillectomy are the treatment choices.
diphtheritic p. Sore throat with general symptoms of diphtheria and formation of a true membrane.
granular p. Chronic pharyngitis with granulations seen on the pharynx.
p. herpetica Pharyngitis characterized by formation of vesicles and ulcers.
hypertrophic p. Chronic pharyngitis with thickened red mucous membrane on each side with a glazed central portion.
membranous p. Pharyngitis characteristic of diphtheria, in ...