Tuberculosis of the tonsils and adenoids occupies an anomalous position in oral surgery, as this lesion is not recognizable clinically, and is seldom even suspected until the tissues have been sectioned by the pathologist.
There are two conditions in which the tonsils are frequently found to be tuberculous: 1. In advanced pulmonary tuberculosis, the tonsils will show tubercles in the majority of cases. 2. In tuberculous cervical adenitis, the tonsils will show this infection in approximately one half of the persons examined.
Ulcerative lesions of the mouth and throat as seen in the terminal states of pulmonary tuberculosis may involve the tonsils, but the process is seldom limited to these structures. These cases have an entirely different significance, and are, therefore, not included in this analysis.
Perhaps the most comprehensive early work in this country on tuberculosis of the tonsils was done by G. B. Wood,1 who has added
MULLIN WV. AN ANALYSIS OF SOME CASES OF TUBERCLES IN THE TONSIL. JAMA. 1923;80(17):1211-1213. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640440025007