Cardiotonsillar Syndrome

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cardiotonsillar Syndrome


a group of changes in the heart (mostly subjective) manifested by frequent exacerbations of chronic tonsillitis.

Cardiotonsillar syndrome is usually found in children and adolescents, generally in girls and sometimes in young women. The patients complain of throbbing and pain in the region of the heart, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, and general malaise. The body temperature may rise slightly, and transitory pains in the joints appear at night. These symptoms are reminiscent of those of rheumatic endocarditis, but unlike the latter cardiotonsillar syndrome does not lead to heart defects or serious lesions of the heart muscle (myocardium). All symptoms of cardiotonsillar syndrome disappear as soon as the tonsils are removed (tonsillectomy) and antibiotics are administered. The syndrome was first described in the 1930’s as a chiefly reflex process, with the diseased tonsils affecting the heart muscle. The possibility of the reflex origin of changes in the heart was demonstrated experimentally. It was found in the 1960’s that the cardiac symptoms associated with focal infection of the nasopharynx may also be related to intoxication with more severe injury to the heart muscle (myocardial degeneration or focal myocarditis).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.