Table 2.

Numbers of children with potential indications for tonsillectomy, annual incidence of potential indications, and the proportions of these children undergoing tonsillectomy, 2005 to 2016

Recorded indication for tonsillectomyaNumber with this indicationProportion with this indication undergoing tonsillectomy, %Proportion of all tonsillectomies attributable to this indication, %Average annual incidence of this indication (per 100 000 person–years)
Evidence-basedTonsillar tumour50.00.00.2
Periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and cervical adenitis syndrome (PFAPA)4353.40.18.5
Paradise criteriab15 32013.911.6412.8
Non evidence-basedObstructive sleep apnoea318522.23.965.9
Other sleep disordered breathing15 20514.812.3369.9
Peritonsillar abscess67514.80.514.9
Recurrent sore throats: five to six in 1 yearc25 4208.912.4840.4
Recurrent sore throats: two to four in 1 year with guttate or chronic plaque psoriasisc9393.70.221.3
Recurrent sore throats: two to four in 1 year with glomerulonephritisc1484.70.03.5
Recurrent sore throats: three to four in 1 yearc170 6873.230.15869.1
Recurrent sore throats: two in 1 yearc251 2471.014.312 321.6
Recurrent sore throats: one in 1 yearc446 2750.49.927 896.5
No indication identified701 2660.14.7n/a
Total1 630 8071.1100.0n/a
  • a If a child meets criteria for several indications, the indication higher in the hierarchy is counted.

  • b Paradise criteria: Recurrent sore throats or upper respiratory tract infections: seven or more a year; five or more yearly for 2 years; three or more yearly for 3 years.

  • c Broad definition of sore throat: includes consultations for any upper respiratory tract infection or otitis media. n/a = not applicable.