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SONO case series: peritonsillar abscess
  1. Joseph Roland Brown,
  2. Roneesha Knight
  1. Emergency Medicine, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, San Francisco, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joseph Roland Brown, Emergency Medicine, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA; josephbrown152{at}

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Case presentation

A 36-year-old otherwise healthy man who presents with two weeks of sore throat and associated hoarse voice, followed by 5 days of odynophagia. He denies fevers or chills. He does not smoke tobacco.

No medical or surgical history. No home medications. No allergies.

Triage vital signs

BP: 135/83 mm Hg, heart rate: 61, temperature: 36.8°C, respirations: 16, SpO2: 100%.

Physical examination

Young man resting comfortably in bed. Non-toxic appearing. The patient was noted to have a ‘hot potato’ voice. Examination apart from intraoral was benign. Oral examination was notable for bilateral erythematous and swollen peritonsillar regions, left greater than right (figure 1).

Figure 1

Intra-oral physical exam findings.

Laboratory data

None were drawn.

Point-of-care ultrasound


  1. What are the indications for performing a point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) of the peritonsillar region?

    Indications for this examination include evaluating for peritonsillar abscess. A peritonsillar abscess typically progresses from tonsillitis to peritonsillar cellulitis and then grows into an abscess. As with most soft-tissue infections, ultrasound can be used as a medium for diagnosing abscesses.1

  2. Which probe is most ideal in the assessment of peritonsillar region?

    Images are obtained by with the use of the endocavitary transducer. Remember to keep your thumb aligned with the marker dot when using the endocavitary probe and to …

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  • Handling editor Simon Carley

  • Contributors We are not using figures/tables from another publication. JRB was the first author of the article and RK was the secondary author.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.