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Complications of streptococcal tonsillopharyngitis

Michael E Pichichero, MD
Section Editors
Daniel J Sexton, MD
Sheldon L Kaplan, MD
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH


Pharyngitis due to infection with group A Streptococcus (GAS) is usually a self-limited condition, with symptoms lasting two to five days in untreated patients. When begun within 48 hours of illness, antimicrobial therapy reduced the duration and severity of symptoms by one to two days in double-blind studies and prevented the spread of infection to contacts [1-3]. (See "Treatment and prevention of streptococcal tonsillopharyngitis".)

The other major goal of therapy is to reduce the risk of suppurative and nonsuppurative complications. The potential complications of GAS tonsillopharyngitis will be briefly reviewed here.


The nonsuppurative complications of group A streptococcal (GAS) tonsillopharyngitis include:

Acute rheumatic fever

Scarlet fever


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Literature review current through: Oct 2015. | This topic last updated: Jan 22, 2015.
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