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September 1966

Tuberculosis of the Tonsil: Extensive Pulmonary Tuberculosis Presenting as a Sore Throat

Author Affiliations

From the Otolaryngology Service, Gorgas Hospital, Ancon, Canal Zone.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;84(3):343-345. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760030345016

PRIMARY active tuberculosis of the tonsil is rare, and cases secondary to tuberculosis elsewhere in the body are indeed uncommon. When the latter does occur, however, the patient's pulmonary infection has already been discovered in virtually all cases. Very rarely will a physician encounter a patient whose only complaint is sore throat, in whom the sore throat is the first intimation of extensive pulmonary tuberculosis. Our report describes such a case. We believe it to be of interest because of the rarity of the condition and the diagnostic problem it presents. It emphasizes the importance of a thorough physical examination in a patient whose localized disease does not respond to seemingly appropriate treatment.

Report of a Case  The patient is a 30-year-old Caucasian housewife. Shortly after arriving in the Canal Zone from Kentucky she developed a sore throat. This became progressively worse, and she sought medical attention one month later.

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