examination (sore throat)

Last reviewed 12/2022

General examination - assessment of how ill patient is e.g. pulse, temperature. Examine trunk for rash - scarlet fever rash generally starts on the chest and spreads to involve the neck and face; there may be sparing of the circumoral area. The rash associated with infectious mononucleosis tends to be generalized.

Examine the neck for cervical lymphadenopathy. Note any trismus or dribbling. Inspect the tongue and throat. In streptococcal disease there may be a 'strawberry tongue'. In cases of infectious mononucleosis there may be petichiae on the palate.

Examine the tonsils. There may be hallitosis. If there is stridor then do not examine the throat because acute airways obstruction from epiglottitis may be provoked.


  • McWhinney I. A textbook of familiy medicine. Oxford: OUP, 1989.