JOURNAL ARTICLE

Asymmetric tonsil size in children

Earl H Harley
Archives of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery 2002, 128 (7): 767-9
12117331

OBJECTIVE: To assess the clinical implications of asymmetrically enlarged tonsils in children.

DESIGN: A prospective controlled study of asymmetric tonsil size in children scheduled for tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy. Data were recorded on tonsil size and position, tonsillar fossa depth, degree of asymmetry, and pathological findings. Control patients were matched for age, sex, race, diagnosis, and surgical procedure.

PATIENTS: A total of 258 children, aged 2 to 18 years, scheduled for tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy during a 27-month period.

SETTING: A tertiary care academic medical center.

RESULTS: Forty-seven children (18.2%) were determined to have asymmetric tonsils. There were 43 matched controls with symmetric tonsils. Three-dimensional quantitative measurements of the resected tonsils revealed little or no actual asymmetry in tonsil size even though preoperative intraoral observations gave the impression that one tonsil was larger than the other. Statistically, tonsillar asymmetry was more apparent than real. When measured by volume, there was asymmetry in both groups. However, there was no statistical difference in the degree of asymmetry between the groups (P =.50). A difference in the depth of the tonsil fossa contributed to the putative asymmetry (P<.001). No malignant neoplasms were identified on microscopic examination in either group.

CONCLUSIONS: Tonsillar asymmetry in children may often be an illusion secondary to a difference in the depth of the tonsillar fossa. Tonsillar asymmetry in children in the absence of other findings such as ipsilateral cervical adenopathy or other constitutional symptoms may not indicate a malignancy.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
12117331
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.