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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 caused by infection with Streptococcus pyogenes (also known as group A Streptococcus [GAS]) is usually a self-limited condition; symptoms in untreated patients typically last two to five days. Antimicrobial therapy reduces the duration and severity of symptoms by one to two days (when begun within 48 hours of illness) and prevents spread of infection [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 (ARF)

Scarlet fever


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Literature review current through: Feb 2017. | This topic last updated: Thu Feb 04 00:00:00 GMT 2016.
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