C-reactive protein in the differentiation of adenoviral, Epstein-Barr viral and streptococcal tonsillitis in children


Sixty-two children with febrile exudative tonsillitis were studied to explore whether quantitative measurements of serum C-reactive protein (CRP) are useful in differentiating viral from streptococcal tonsillitis. There were 23 cases of adenoviral tonsillitis, 21 of EB viral tonsillitis and 18 of streptococcal tonsillitis. Measurements of CRP, WBC counts and erythrocyte sedimentation rates (ESR) were not useful in distinguishing viral from streptococcal tonsillitis. Seventy-four percent of patients with adenoviral tonsillitis were under the age of 3 years and 71% of the patients with Epstein-Barr (EB) viral tonsillitis were under the age of 6 years whereas 72% of the patients with streptococcal tonsillitis were over the age of 6 years. Age was clearly the most important factor in distinguishing between viral and bacterial tonsillitis in children.

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C-reactive protein


erythrocyte sedimentation rates




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Correspondence to A. Putto.

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Putto, A., Meurman, O. & Ruuskanen, O. C-reactive protein in the differentiation of adenoviral, Epstein-Barr viral and streptococcal tonsillitis in children. Eur J Pediatr 145, 204–206 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00446066

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Key words

  • CRP-tonsillitis
  • Adenovirus
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Streptococcus