Encountering Chronic Sore Throat: How Challenging is it for the Otolaryngologists?

  • Sohag Kundu
  • Mainak DuttaEmail author
  • Bijan Kumar Adhikary
  • Bhaskar Ghosh
Original Article


Objective To explore and diagnose the underlying causes of chronic, recalcitrant sore throat. Methodology In this descriptive, cross-sectional study spanning 3 years (January 2014–December 2016), 1580 patients with chronic sore throat (>12 weeks duration, despite conventional medication) were evaluated for the possible cause(s) in a tertiary care teaching institute of eastern India, through proper history, appropriate investigations, and a self-designed algorithm. Results The common causes for chronic sore throat were chronic tonsillopharyngitis, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, submandibular sialadenitis, and laryngopharyngeal reflux disorder, respectively. Allergy, psychiatric illnesses, oral submucous fibrosis, systemic comorbidities (diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, uremia, arthritides), stylalgia, Koch’s pneumonitis, recurrent aphthous ulcers, and dietary deficiencies formed the other major causes. There was a minimal female preponderance, the female: male ratio being 1.25. About 39% patients were chronic smokers, and 31% addicted to alcohol. Forty-three (2.72%) patients were reactive to HIV 1/2. Conclusion The study provided with a detailed account of the heterogeneous etiology of chronic sore throat, and an overall structured idea on how to approach to its work-up and diagnosis. Proper history taking and appropriate structured investigations are the keys. Chronic tonsillopharyngitis, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, submandibular sialadenitis, and laryngopharyngeal reflux disorder were the chief causes of chronic sore throat.


Chronic sore throat Etiology Chronic tonsillopharyngitis Gastroesophageal reflux Laryngopharyngeal reflux 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association of Otolaryngologists of India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck SurgeryMedical College and Hospital, KolkataKolkataIndia

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