Uvulitis

Uvulitis is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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Basics

Description

  • Uvulitis refers to any inflammatory condition involving the uvula
  • Uvulitis can be separated into 2 broad categories:
    • Infectious:
      • Bacterial
      • Viral
      • Candidal
    • Traumatic or noninfectious

Epidemiology

Incidence and Prevalence Estimates
  • Exact incidence is unknown owing to limited reporting
  • Once thought to be rare but may in fact be more common (e.g., viral etiologies)
  • Children (age 5–15) more often affected than adults due to prevalence of group A streptococcal (GAS) infections in this age group*
  • Noninfectious causes more common than infectious causes in adult population

Etiology

  • Infectious:
    • Bacterial:
      • GAS, most common
      • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
      • Other bacterial infections (Fusobacterium nucleatum, Prevotella intermedia, Streptococcus pneumoniae)
    • Viral:
      • Not well reported but suspected in mild/transient cases
      • Known to cause uvular lesions but rare to isolate causative virus:
        • Coxsackie virus (other enteroviruses)
        • Herpes simplex virus
        • Varicella-zoster virus
        • Epstein–Barr virus
    • Candidal infections
  • Noninfectious:
    • Trauma/procedure related
    • Inhalation/ingestion of chemical or thermal irritants
    • Vasculitis
    • Allergic
    • Angioedema:
      • Hereditary (HAE type I/type II)
      • Medication induced:
        • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi)
        • Angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB)

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Basics

Description

  • Uvulitis refers to any inflammatory condition involving the uvula
  • Uvulitis can be separated into 2 broad categories:
    • Infectious:
      • Bacterial
      • Viral
      • Candidal
    • Traumatic or noninfectious

Epidemiology

Incidence and Prevalence Estimates
  • Exact incidence is unknown owing to limited reporting
  • Once thought to be rare but may in fact be more common (e.g., viral etiologies)
  • Children (age 5–15) more often affected than adults due to prevalence of group A streptococcal (GAS) infections in this age group*
  • Noninfectious causes more common than infectious causes in adult population

Etiology

  • Infectious:
    • Bacterial:
      • GAS, most common
      • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
      • Other bacterial infections (Fusobacterium nucleatum, Prevotella intermedia, Streptococcus pneumoniae)
    • Viral:
      • Not well reported but suspected in mild/transient cases
      • Known to cause uvular lesions but rare to isolate causative virus:
        • Coxsackie virus (other enteroviruses)
        • Herpes simplex virus
        • Varicella-zoster virus
        • Epstein–Barr virus
    • Candidal infections
  • Noninfectious:
    • Trauma/procedure related
    • Inhalation/ingestion of chemical or thermal irritants
    • Vasculitis
    • Allergic
    • Angioedema:
      • Hereditary (HAE type I/type II)
      • Medication induced:
        • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi)
        • Angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB)

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