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Complications of streptococcal tonsillopharyngitis

Michael E Pichichero, MD
Section Editors
Daniel J Sexton, MD
Sheldon L Kaplan, MD
Deputy Editor
Sheila Bond, MD


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 pharyngitis".)

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)

Poststreptococcal reactive arthritis (PSRA)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 21, 2017.
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