Above is an anatomical diagram of the throat. Patients presenting with a sore throat are commonly diagnosed as having either pharyngitis or tonsillitis. However, it is more accurate to consider these diagnoses as part of a spectrum of a single disease process, tonsillopharyngitis, which encompasses infection or inflammation of the pharynx and/or tonsils.

Rarer, more serious problems such as peritonsillar abscess, epiglottitis and retropharyngeal abscess may also present with the symptom of a sore throat and must be carefully differentiated from tonsillopharyngitis.

Learning bite

Patients diagnosed with either tonsillitis or pharyngitis should be considered to have an illness which lies within the spectrum of tonsillopharyngitis.

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