To investigate histologically if a lack of protection of the deep lymphoid tissue in tonsillar crypts by
an intact epithelial covering is an aetiological factor for tonsillitis.
A prospective histological study of the tonsillar crypt epithelium by immunostaining for cytokeratin in 34
consecutive patients undergoing tonsillectomy either for tonsillitis or tonsillar hypertrophy without infection (17 patients
in each group).
Discontinuity in the epithelium was found in 70.6% of the groups of patients with tonsillitis and in 35.3% of the
groups of patients with tonsillar hypertrophy. This is of borderline significance.
We found no clear correlation between tonsillitis and a defect in the tonsillar crypt epithelium. Tonsillitis
might be due to immunological differences of subjects rather than a lack of integrity of the crypt epithelium. Further study
with larger sample size and normal control is suggested.