Mathilde Aalling

Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome complicating a peritonsillar abscess

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A 68-year-old man was admitted to hospital in an acute confusional state with a 2-week history of fever, influenza-like illness and sore throat. He quickly developed coagulation disturbances, hypotension and renal function impairment. Despite broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy, he deteriorated. Group A streptococcus (GAS) was recovered from blood cultures, which gave the diagnosis streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS). A computed tomography scan showed a right-sided peritonsillar abscess (PTA). Acute tonsillectomy was carried out and the patient recovered. STSS complicating PTA has not previously been described in the literature, but GAS is a common pathogen in PTA. Clinicians should be aware that STSS can develop secondary to tonsillar infections and that abscess development should be suspected in STSS patients who do not respond to antibiotic treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInfectious Diseases
Pages (from-to)101-103
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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