Herpangina Workup

Updated: Jun 02, 2022
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Laboratory Studies

Herpangina is a clinical diagnosis. Laboratory studies are generally not indicated because herpangina is a mild and self-limited illness.

Investigate the salient features of the history and physical examination, including the following:

  • Season (depending on the latitude)

  • Age

  • Exposure history

  • Clinical symptoms

The WBC count is usually within the reference range.

Isolation of enterovirus in cell culture remains the criterion standard for diagnosis. [16] To isolate the virus, obtain cultures from swabs of the nasopharynx. Other specimens that may produce an isolate include stool and rectal swabs, urine, serum, and CSF.

Serum antibodies to coxsackievirus may be measured after the onset of clinical symptoms. The antibody titer should show a 4-fold rise in serial samples performed 2-3 weeks apart.

Polymerase chain reaction can be performed for enteroviral RNA of the throat, blood, CSF, urine, feces, and tissue specimens.


Histologic Findings

No histopathologic findings are specific to herpangina.