Streptococcal pharyngitis in the emergency department: Analysis of therapeutic strategies

Jerris R. Hedges, Robert A. Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Potential streptococcal pharyngitis represents a common presenting complaint of patients in emergency departments. Studies have shown that therapy within thefirst 48 hours of presentation hastens the resolution of the infection. A prior analysis of the cost of treatment for potential streptococcal pharyngitis in an outpatient practice suggested that when the likelihood of a positive throat culture is high, therapy is more cost effective without a throat culture. The current analysis evaluates the effects of emergency department charges, incomplete follow-up, and several common screening tests (Gram stain, clinical scoring) upon the cost of treatment and the risk for rheumatic fever. The results of the current analysis support 1) the use of common screening tests to permit immediate oral or parenteral penicillin treatment of selected patients without a throat culture and 2) the use of a throat culture to detect false-negative screen results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1986


  • Pharyngitis
  • streptococcus
  • therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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