Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Tonsillitis due to Strep Anatomy

To better understand streptococcal tonsillitis, it helps to understand the anatomy of the throat.

The back of throat is also referred to as the pharynx. More specifically, the pharynx is the back, upper part of the throat behind the tongue. It starts at the base of the tongue and ends at the larynx.

Anatomy examples:

  • Normal pharynx in an adult
  • Normal pharynx in a child
  • Normal tongue

The tonsils are collections of lymphoid tissue in the back of the throat. They are located on both sides of the throat, near the base of the tongue. The tonsils generally shrink over time. At puberty, the tonsils are normally about the size of an almond.

Anatomy examples:
  • Normal anatomy of the pharynx
  • Normal tonsils in a child

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Tonsillitis due to Strep References
  1. Brook I, Dohar JE. Management of group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal pharyngotonsillitis in children. J Fam Pract. 2006 Dec;55(12):S1-11; quiz S12. [17137534]
  2. Cohen R. Defining the optimum treatment regimen for azithromycin in acute tonsillopharyngitis. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2004 Feb;23(2 Suppl):S129-34. [14770076]
  3. Tewfik TL, Al Garni M. Tonsillopharyngitis: clinical highlights. J Otolaryngol. 2005 Jun;34 Suppl 1:S45-9. [16089240]
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