Emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and readmissions of patients with a peritonsillar abscess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the demographics and treatment outcomes of patients with a peritonsillar abscess (PTA) and to provide guidance for treatment options. Methods: The 2012 National Emergency Department Database, 2012 National Inpatient Sample, and 2013 Nationwide Readmissions Database were used to analyze patients with a PTA who presented to emergency departments (ED), were admitted and/or readmitted to hospitals in the United States. Outcomes were used to create a decision model to compare initial medical versus surgical management. Results: An estimated 62,787 ED visits; 15,095 inpatient admissions; and 267 readmissions for PTA were recorded. The average age was 29 years old, with a slight male predominance. The majority of patients seen in the ED (80%) were treated without surgery and discharged home. Patients admitted to hospital were more likely to undergo surgery (50%). The tonsillectomy rate was 11%. The complication and readmission rates were<2%. Medical therapy was used more often than surgical therapy in many cases. Conclusion: Peritonsillar abscess mostly occurs in adults and leads to a significant number of ED visits, admissions, and readmissions. A trial of medical management of PTA appears to be safe, although surgery is highly successful and associated with low morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2017


  • Cross-sectional survey
  • Decision analysis
  • Peritonsillar abscess
  • Treatment algorithms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and readmissions of patients with a peritonsillar abscess'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this