From IDWiki


  • Inflammation or infection of the pharynx


Clinical Manifestations

Centor Criteria

  • The Centor criteria help to identify those at risk of streptococcal pharyngitis who may benefit from antibiotics
  • Used in patients with onset of symptoms within the last 3 days
  • Criteria
    • One point for each of:
      • Age 3 to 14 years
      • Exudate or swelling of tonsils
      • Tender or swollen anterior cervical lymph nodes
      • Temperature >38ºC
    • Remove one point for age ≥45 years
  • Interpretation:
    • 0 points: 1-2.5% risk; no antibiotics
    • 1 point: 5-10% risk; no antibiotics
    • 2 points: 11-17% risk; optional rapid strep testing or culture
    • 3 points: 38-35% risk; consider rapid strep testing or culture
    • ≥4 points: 51-53% risk; consider rapid strep testing or culture as well as empiric antibiotics


  • Most common cause is viral, which requires supportive care
  • To estimate risk of streptococcal pharyngitis, apply the Centor criteria, described above
    • 0-1 points: no further tests
    • 2-4 points: consider ruling out streptococcal pharyngitis with rapid test or culture, with treatment if positive
    • ≥4 points: consider empiric treatment