angina(redirected from pseudomembranous angina)
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an acute infectious disease affecting mainly the palatine tonsils. The most common causative agent is streptococcus. Angina is among the most common diseases, especially among children and young people. Chilling of the organism and chronic inflammation of the palatine tonsils (tonsillitis) tend to produce angina.
The mildest form, catarrhal angina, begins with a slight swelling of the tonsils; the mucous membrane of the pharynx reddens, and there is dryness of the throat followed by pain in swallowing. In adults the body temperature is only slightly elevated, but in children it may reach 40°C (104°C). The illness lasts for three to five days. In lacunar angina all symptoms are more pronounced. The temperature rises sharply, and there is throat pain, fatigue, and cephalalgia. Suppurative plugs, which protrude onto the surface of the tonsil, are formed in the recesses of the tonsils (lacunae). Follicular tonsillitis begins with sudden chills, a temperaturerise to 39–40°C (102.2–KMT), and sharp throat pain. Rheumatic pains in the extremities and back, cephalalgia, and a feeling of general fatigue appear soon after. A large number of circular yellowish spots—small suppurate fragments of the tonsil (follicles)—appear on the swollen and reddened tonsils. Under unfavorable circumstances (lowered resistance of the organism, grave infection), this form of the disease may develop into phlegmonous angina, a suppurative inflammation of the tissues around the tonsil, with formation of an abscess. Here the temperature rises to 39–40°C, with chills and general weakness. Throat pain, often unilateral, intensifies rapidly and is more intense upon swallowing or opening the mouth, so that often the patient has to refuse food or drink. In phlegmonous angina surgical intervention is often necessary. In this form of angina complications may appear, affecting the joints, kidneys, or heart.
Treatment Rest in bed, warm (but not hot) liquid nourishment (vegetable soups and purees, gruels, kisel’—starchy fruit jelly—and stewed fruit), vitamins, and frequent warm drinks (milk, sweet tea with milk) are all mandatory. A warm bandage or warming compress should be placed on the neck, and the throat should be rinsed with disinfectant solutions (2 percent boric acid, salt, or potassium permanganate solution of light rose color). Sulfanilamide preparations and, in severe cases, antibiotics should be used. To avoid the spread of infection, the patient must eat from separate dishes and avoid intimate personal contact, especially with children. The prophylaxis for angina consists of a systematic buildup of resistance and prompt treatment of any mouth or throat illness (enlarged adenoids, chronic tonsillitis, or bad teeth). Those seriously ill with angina should receive dispensary service.
Angina can be not only an independent disease but also a symptom of certain general infectious diseases (scarlet fever, diphtheria) or a sign of some blood disease (the leukosis group). A physician should therefore be consulted at the first signs of angina.
REFERENCESPreobrazhenskii, B. S., and Iu. N. Volkov. Anginy (Ikh sushchnost preduprezhdenie i lechenie). Moscow, 1960.
Korchagin, A. V. Angina, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1961.
L. V. NEIMAN