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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versión On-line ISSN 2173-9110versión impresa ISSN 1135-5727


FORNES VIVAS, Rosa et al. Utility of clinical criteria for the adequate diagnosis of the pharingoamigdalitis in the pediatric emergency service. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2019, vol.93, e201911061.  Epub 07-Sep-2020. ISSN 2173-9110.


There are two scales (Centor and McIsaac) that describe the frequent signs and symptoms in pharyngotonsillitis and determine the attitude to be followed for diagnosis and treatment; among them, the McIsaac criteria are one of the most widely used scales. The goal of the study was to determine the predictive value of the McIsaac criteria in the diagnosis of pharyngotonsillitis due to EbhGA in a Pediatric Emergency Service. The predictive value of these criteria is decisive in the adequate use of TDR test and antibiotics as a treatment.


Cross-sectional study. The target population were all patients between 0 and 14 years old treated in the Pediatric Emergency Service of the Casa de Salud Hospital of Valencia during 2016, with discharge diagnoses, tonsillitis, pharyngotonsillitis or pharyngitis and with the TDR performed. Two groups were set up according to whether TDR was positive or negative. The presence of the McIsaac criteria was studied in both groups. A sensitivity and specificity study was carried out and the Total and Bayes Probability theorems were applied as well as the likelihood ratio measures.


A negative result of TDR was obtained in 58.1% (n=330) and was obtained a positive result in 41.9% (n=238). At least three criteria met 48.3% (n=115) with TDR+ of which the most frequent was age >3 years (97.4%); and 46.7% (n=154) of children with TDR- where the most frequent was the absence of catarrh (91.6%). The output from the predictive analysis of meeting the McIsaac criteria was a sensitivity (P(+/E)=48.3%), a specificity (P(-/NE)=53.3%), a positive predictive value P(E/+)=42.7% and likelihood ratios LR+=1.04 and LR-=0.97.


The results indicate a poor predictive value of the McIsaac criteria in the population being studied. The TDR test should be implanted more frequently and the McIsaac criteria should be re-evaluated for the correct diagnosis of pharyngotonsillitis due to EbhGA and with it an adequate treatment to avoid the overprescription of antibiotics.

Palabras clave : Tonsillitis; Pharyngitis; McIsaac criteria; Diagnostic techniques; TDR Test.

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