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Concept: Tonsillolith


BACKGROUND: Nanotechnology is receiving enormous funding. Very little however is known about the health dangers of this technology so far. Chronic tonsillitis is one of a number of diseases called idiopathic. Among other factors, the tonsils are exposed to suspended particles in inhaled air including nano particles. The objective of this study was to detect and evaluate metallic particles in human tonsil tissue diagnosed with chronic tonsillitis and in amniotic fluid as a comparison. METHODS: Scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) was used for identification of solid particles in a total of 64 samples of routinely analyzed biopsy and cytologic material. RESULTS: Almost all samples were found to contain solid particles of various metals. The most frequent, regardless of diagnosis, were iron, chromium, nickel and aluminium. The size, determined using SEM, varied from around 500 nm to 25 µm. The majority formed aggregates of several micrometers in size but there were a significant number of smaller (sub-micrometer or nano-sized) particles present. The incidence of metallic particles was similar in child and adult tissues. The difference was in composition: the presence of several metals in adults was due to occupational exposure. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of metallic particles in pathologically altered tissues may signal an alternative causation of some diseases. The ethiopathogenic explanation of these diseases associated with the presence of nano-sized particles in the organism has emerged into a new field of pathology, nanopathology.

Concepts: Iron, Metal, Scanning electron microscope, Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Tonsil, Tonsillectomy, Tonsillitis, Tonsillolith


Benign enlargement of the lingual tonsils due to various causes may cause symptoms that warrant treatment. Conventional lingual tonsillectomy remains a challenging procedure, and there is no established standard procedure. We aimed to review the patients receiving different methods of lingual tonsil surgery for various indications at our institute.

Concepts: Tonsil, Tonsillectomy, Tonsillitis, Tonsillolith


Lingual tonsilloliths are not as well-known to radiologists than palatine tonsilloliths, although they might be common in clinical practice. The aim of this investigation was to clarify the prevalence and imaging characteristics of lingual tonsilloliths using panoramic radiographs and computed tomography (CT) images.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Medical imaging, Radiography, IMAGE, Tonsillolith, Post-nasal drip


Peritonsillar abscess (PTA) is traditionally considered only a purulent complication of acute tonsillitis (AT), but may be related to infection of minor salivary glands. We analysed the presence of peritonsillar minor salivary glands and inflammation patterns in 114 adult tonsils representing three patient groups: recurrent AT, chronic tonsillitis (CT), and PTA. Samples acquired from elective tonsillectomies were stored in formalin, and after preparation were microscopically examined for inflammation and fibrotic changes. Clinical features and histological characteristics were compared between the groups. Of all tonsils, the minor salivary glands were present in 77 (67.5%). Glands located near the tonsillar tissue showed signs of infection in 73 (94.8%), while only 3 (15.0%) of 20 glands located deeper in the peritonsillar space were infected. Compared to patients with recurrent AT and CT, those with PTA more often presented with periductal inflammation, p < 0.011 (PTA 82.1%, AT 42.9%, and CT 63.6%). The majority of our 114 tonsillectomy specimens, collected from patients with AT, CT, or PTA, presented with infected minor salivary glands, and inflammation of the peritonsillar space glands was evident. To further elucidate the association between these glands and PTA, tonsillar samples should be collected and analysed from patients during the acute phase of infection.

Concepts: Infection, Glands, Pus, Salivary gland, Tonsil, Tonsillectomy, Tonsillitis, Tonsillolith


Retropharyngeal lesions are often associated with Kawasaki disease (KD). A 4-year-old male first presented a peritonsillar and retropharyngeal abscess-like lesion. Surgical tonsillectomy was performed to avoid a risk of mediastinal abscess, but he fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of KD after the operation. This prompted us to perform a histological study on the KD tonsils.

Concepts: Medicine, Medical terms, Inflammations, Anatomical pathology, Tonsil, Tonsillectomy, Tonsillitis, Tonsillolith


Postoperative haemorrhage following tonsillectomy occurs in 5.98% of all cases with up to 10 deaths reported annually in Germany. When comparing tonsillectomy (TE) and tonsillotomy (TT), the same long-term frequency of ENT infections is displayed in children and young adults. However, taking postoperative haemorrhaging into account, TT is more favourable. Chronic tonsillitis is one of the most common indications for TE in the adult population; however, a histopathological characterization may reveal objective criteria and provide a foundation for routinely performing TT in adults too. Three essential parameters hyperplasia (HP), grade of inflammation (GOI) and activity of inflammation (AOI), which are responsible for, and associated with a clinically relevant disease were histopathologically examined in the tonsils of 100 adult patients with chronic recurrent tonsillitis. The parameters were analysed and compared separately in the pharyngeal and basal parts of the tonsils as well as in three sections (upper and lower pole of the tonsil, middle part) as this may influence the indication for TT. The comparison of the basal and pharyngeal portions displayed a significant difference in the GOI and the HP in all three sections: grade 2 HP as well as GOI were more commonly found in the basal than pharyngeal portions (p > 0.001). AOI (grade 2) displayed the same properties in the middle section (p < 0.002), but did not reach statistical significance in the cranial and caudal sections (p = 0.107 and p = 0.186). An overabundance of grade 1 GOI, AOI, and HP was seen in the pharyngeal sections. The results show that two out of three relevant parameters that demonstrate histopathological changes in recurrent inflamed tonsils have a significantly stronger presence in the basal section of the tonsil as opposed to the pharyngeal section. The processes initiated by inflammation next to the surface responsible for a clinically relevant recurrent tonsillitis seem to cause stronger reactions in the deep follicular portion of the tonsils.

Concepts: Pathology, Statistical significance, Lymphatic system, Part, Tonsil, Tonsillectomy, Tonsillitis, Tonsillolith


Evidence indicates correlations between lingual tonsil hypertrophy and pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, to our knowledge, a meta-analysis of surgical outcomes for lingual tonsillectomy in children with OSA has not been conducted.

Concepts: Sleep apnea, Obstructive sleep apnea, Tonsil, Tonsillectomy, Tonsillitis, Tonsillolith


Background: Tonsillectomy rates vary considerably among different states, regions, and times. This study was conducted to identify the prevalence of “chronic” tonsillitis, peritonsillar abscess, hypertrophy of the tonsils with and without adenoids in absolute and relative numbers in an 80 million people nation. Moreover, the number and rates of different surgical procedures to resolve either “chronic” tonsillitis, peritonsillar abscess, or upper airway obstruction due to (adeno)tonsillar hypertrophy over several years was evaluated in this study (tonsillectomy, adenotonsillectomy, tonsillotomy, abscess tonsillectomy, transoral incision and drainage). Finally, the post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage rate was calculated and analyzed in relation to age and gender. Material and methods: Calculations were based on data as published by the Federal Institute of Statistics or on request, if needed. The latest data were provided for 2013. Results: The total number of the aforementioned diseases (stratified by ICD-10) decreased from 142,574 (in 2000) to 87,624 in 2013 (38.5%). Tonsillectomy, with or without adenoidectomy, was performed in a total of 833,896 patients between 2006 and 2013 in Germany. The yearly number decreased continually from 120,993 in 2006 to 84,332 procedures in 2013 (30.3%). The most significant decrease was registered in patients younger than 20 years of age for this time period: 70.92 per 10,000 in 2010 to 58.68 per 10,000 in 2013. If all age groups were included, the rate decreased from 13.34 per 10,000 to 10.90 per 10,000. In contrast, an increasing number of tonsillotomies was observed between 2007 (4,659 procedures) and 2013 (11,493). The cumulated number of procedures was 59,049. A constant number of 15,000 cases with peritonsillar abscess were diagnosed per year in Germany (19 patients per 100,000). The prevalence increased significantly at an age of 15 years and there was a preponderance of female patients below that age. Compared to the transoral incision and drainage, a 2.8-fold greater number of abscess tonsillectomies were performed annually. Post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage was experienced in 5.98% of all patients after 245,721 procedures in 2010 and 2013 (all indications, except tonsillotomy). Bleeding complications had occurred less frequently in female patients (5.06% vs. 7.02%). Finally, a considerable increase of post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage in patients older than 10 years of age was registered in male patients only. Conclusion: Chronic tonsillitis was less frequently diagnosed and surgically treated in terms of tonsillectomy (with or without adenoidectomy), particularly in female patients. In contrast, the number of tonsillotomies increased continually, particularly in male patients. Peritonsillar abscess was diagnosed and surgically treated in a constant number of patients in the yearly comparison. Most of these patients were scheduled for abscess tonsillectomy, and only a 2.8-fold smaller number for transoral incision and drainage. Independent from the indication for surgery, post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage was clearly associated with male gender and age (>10 years). The study reveals a dramatic change mandating further surveillance in insurance companies and authorities in the national health system of an 80 million people nation. (Tab. 1).

Concepts: Male, Surgery, Gender, Tonsil, Tonsillectomy, Tonsillitis, Tonsillolith, Peritonsillar abscess


Lingual tonsils are lymphatic tissues located at the base of the tongue that may hypertrophy causing difficulty and sometimes inability to ventilate or intubate during anesthesia. Routine airway assessment fails to diagnose lingual tonsil hypertrophy. There is limited experience with use of videolaryngoscopy in cases of lingual tonsil hypertrophy. We present a case of difficult airway due to unanticipated lingual tonsil hypertrophy successfully managed by atypical video laryngoscope positioning.

Concepts: Lymphatic system, Case, Atrophy, Tongue, Tonsil, Tonsillectomy, Tonsillitis, Tonsillolith


The principal aim of this study was to document the effectiveness of tonsillectomy in dogs using a vessel-sealing device compared with a standard technique with tonsillectomy forceps. A secondary aim of the study was to document histopathological changes of the excised tonsillar tissue in dogs with brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. 20 dogs were studied. The time taken to remove a tonsil using LigaSure was a mean of 44.8 seconds (sd 15 seconds, 95 per cent CI 40  to 57 seconds) and with the standard technique a mean of 305.9 seconds (sd 67 seconds, 95 per cent CI 272  to 349 seconds). Significantly less haemorrhage occurred using LigaSure compared with the standard technique. Histopathology of the tonsils was characterised by multifocal neutrophilic and lymphocytic inflammation, and 1-2 mm of heat-induced coagulation necrosis at the cut edge of LigaSure tonsils. This study shows that LigaSure is significantly faster and resulted in less bleeding than the standard technique.

Concepts: Blood, Pathology, Histology, Necrosis, Tonsil, Tonsillectomy, Tonsillitis, Tonsillolith