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Article
March 1993

Clinical Scoring System in the Evaluation of Adult Pharyngitis

Author Affiliations

From the Antimicrobial Research Laboratory, National Public Health Institute (Drs Seppälä and Huovinen), Health Center Pulssi (Drs lahtonen, Arstila, and Eskola), and Department of Virology, University of Turku (Drs Ziegler and Meurman), Turku, Finland; Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Tampere (Drs Hakkarainen and Miettinen), Tampere, Finland; and Department of Virology, University of Helsinki (Dr Saikku), Helsinki, Finland.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119(3):288-291. doi:10.1001/archotol.1993.01880150036006
Abstract

• Objective.  —To compare results of a clinical scoring system for diagnosis of group A streptococcal pharyngitis with microbiologic results, when several different pharyngeal pathogens were tested simultaneuously.

Design.  —Evaluation of clinical manifestations of 106 adult patients with pharyngitis of different microbial origin.

Setting.  —General private practice; Health Center Pulssi, Turku, Finland.

Patients.  —Adult patients whose chief complaints were sore throats.

Main Outcome Measure.  —A symptom score that was assigned to each patient according to the total number of certain signs and symptoms that are postulated to increase the probability of group A streptococcal pharyngitis and blood measurements for infection.

Results.  —The highest symptom scores, 3 and 4, were found in 21 patients. These patients had pharyngitis due to group A streptococcus (four patients), group C streptococcus (four patients), group G streptococcus (two patients), group F streptococcus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, influenza A virus, influenza B virus, herpes simplex type 1 virus (two patients), and coxsackie B4 virus. No pathogen could be identified from three of the 21 patients. The C-reactive protein values and the leukocyte counts were raised significantly more often in streptococcal infections than in infections of other origin; the P values were.00016 and.028, respectively.

Conclusion.  —Use of a clinical scoring system alone for diagnosis of pharyngitis may lead to improper use of antimicrobial agents. There is a need for accurate microbiologic diagnostic procedures in general practice to determine proper treatment of pharyngitis as well as to test the effect of antibacterial and, in the future, antiviral treatment in respiratory tract infections.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119:288-291)

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