What Is Cryptic Tonsillitis?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

Please give me any information on cryptic tonsillitis that you may have concerning causes and treatment.

Doctor's response

Cryptic in the case of the tonsils refers simply to the tonsillar crypts which are little pitlike depressions in the tonsils.

The causes and treatment of cryptic tonsillitis are basically no different than the causes and treatment of all tonsillitis.

The word "cryptic" comes from the Greek "kryptos" meaning hidden or concealed. Thus, cryptic tonsillitis may be hidden, concealed because it is down in the pits (of the tonsil) and may not be causing apparent symptoms.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018
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