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Peritonsillar abscess: epidemiology and relationship with climate variations

  • G S M Freire (a1), J H Z dos Santos (a1), P A Rolón (a2), G B Pinheiro (a3) and A L L Sampaio (a1)...



Peritonsillar abscess is the most common deep infection of the head and neck in young adults. It is considered a purulent complication of acute tonsillitis, but other mechanisms have been proposed. There is no consensus as to whether seasonality affects peritonsillar abscess incidence.


This observational, descriptive, retrospective study explored the epidemiology of peritonsillar abscess and its relationship with seasonality. The cases were selected from the emergency otolaryngology service of a tertiary hospital.


The sample comprised 528 patients (42.61 per cent males, mean age = 26.63 years). A moderate positive correlation was found between peritonsillar abscess incidence and monthly average temperature. No associations were found with insolation, precipitation or humidity.


In this sample, peritonsillar abscess was more likely to occur in warmer months. The findings corroborate the theory that peritonsillar abscess is not a direct complication of acute tonsillitis and may improve understanding of peritonsillar abscess aetiology.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Gustavo Subtil Magalhães Freire, SGAN 605, Avenida L2 Norte, 70830-200 Brasília, DF, Brazil Fax: +55 61 2028 5580 E-mail:


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Peritonsillar abscess: epidemiology and relationship with climate variations

  • G S M Freire (a1), J H Z dos Santos (a1), P A Rolón (a2), G B Pinheiro (a3) and A L L Sampaio (a1)...


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