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Macroscopic oropharyngeal signs indicating impaired defensive function of palatine tonsils in adults suffering from recurrent tonsillitis

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Abstract:

Kasenõmm P, Mesila I, Piirsoo A, Kull M, Mikelsaar M, Mikelsaar R-H. Macroscopic oropharyngeal signs indicating impaired defensive function of palatine tonsils in adults suffering from recurrent tonsillitis. APMIS 2004;112:248–56.

The present study explored in adults suffering from recurrent tonsillitis the association between macroscopic oropharyngeal signs of recurrent inflammation, immunomorphology of palatine tonsils (counts of neutrophils by CD4 and macrophages by CD68 monoclonal antibodies in tonsillar microcompartments) and the occurrence of post-tonsillectomy bacteremia. The study involved 50 adults (31 females and 19 males) with recurrent tonsillitis. According to predominance of either inflammatory changes or evidence of sclerotic process in palatine tonsils and surrounding tissue macroscopic at oropharyngeal examination, the patients were divided into groups with ‘inflammatory-type’ and ‘sclerotic-type’ tonsils. Biochemically detected mean collagen content was significantly higher in ‘sclerotic-type’ tonsils than in ‘inflammatory-type’ tonsils (p=0.001). Post-tonsillectomy bacteremia was found in 22 patients (44%). A noteworthy finding was the higher recovery of anaerobes from blood cultures than in previous studies. A logistic regression analysis revealed that the post-tonsillectomy bacteremia was strongly associated with ‘sclerotic-type’ tonsils (p=0.0015) and with low counts of neutrophils in tonsillar tissue (p=0.047). We conclude that macroscopic oropharyngeal signs of sclerotic process in palatine tonsils indicate impaired tonsillar defense, in terms of lowered counts of neutrophils, increasing the risk of post-tonsillectomy bacteremia.

Keywords: Tonsillar sclerosis; collagen content in tonsils; immunomorphology; post-tonsillectomy bacteremia

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0463.2004.apm11204-0504.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pathological Anatomy and Forensic Medicine, Tartu University, 2: Department of General and Molecular Pathology, Medical Faculty, Tartu University, Tartu, Estonia 3: Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Tartu University Clinicum, 4: Department of Microbiology, Tartu University,

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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