tonsil


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

tonsil

 [ton´sil]
1. a small, rounded mass of tissue.
2. one of the fleshy masses of lymphoid tissue at the back of the throat. adj., adj ton´sillar.

There are three different kinds of tonsils: the palatine tonsils are a pair of oval-shaped structures about the size of almonds, partially embedded in the mucous membrane, one on each side of the back of the throat. The lingual tonsils are below the palatine tonsils at the base of the tongue. The pharyngeal tonsils, or adenoids, are on the upper rear wall of the mouth cavity; they are of fair size in childhood but usually shrink after puberty. The tonsils are part of the lymphatic system and help to filter the circulating lymph of bacteria and any other foreign material that may enter the body, especially through the mouth and nose. In the process of fighting infection the palatine tonsils and the adenoids sometimes become enlarged and inflamed (see tonsillitis).
tonsil of cerebellum a rounded mass forming part of the cerebellum on its inferior surface.

ton·sil

(ton'sil),
1. Intramucosal collection of lymphocytes or aggregated lymphoid tissue closely associated with the overlying epithelium, including the pharyngeal tonsil (adenoid), palatine tonsil, and lingual tonsil, that collectively form a lymphoepithelial ring in the pharynx.
2. Synonym(s): palatine tonsil
3. An anatomic structure resembling the palatine tonsil in form.
[L. tonsilla, a stake, in pl. the tonsils]

tonsil

/ton·sil/ (ton´sil) a small, rounded mass of tissue, especially of lymphoid tissue; generally used alone to designate the palatine tonsil.
tonsil of cerebellum  a rounded mass of tissue forming part of the caudal lobe of the hemisphere of the cerebellum.
faucial tonsil  palatine t.
lingual tonsil  an aggregation of lymph follicles at the root of the tongue.
Luschka's tonsil  pharyngeal t.
palatine tonsil  a small mass of lymphoid tissue between the pillars of the fauces on either side of the pharynx.
pharyngeal tonsil  the diffuse lymphoid tissue and follicles in the roof and posterior wall of the nasopharynx.

tonsil

(tŏn′səl)
n.
A small oral mass of lymphoid tissue, especially either of two such masses embedded in the lateral walls of the opening between the mouth and the pharynx, of uncertain function, but believed to help protect the body from respiratory infections.

ton′sil·lar adj.

tonsil

[ton′səl]
Etymology: L, tonsilla
a small rounded mass of tissue, especially lymphoid tissue, such as that composing the palatine tonsils in the oropharynx. Also called tonsilla. Compare intestinal tonsil, lingual tonsil, palatine tonsil, pharyngeal tonsil.
enlarge picture
Tonsils

ton·sil

(ton'sil)
1. Any collection of lymphoid tissue.
2. Synonym(s): palatine tonsil.
[L. tonsilla, a stake, as a pl., the tonsils]

tonsil

(ton'sil) [L. tonsilla, almond]
1. A mass of lymphoid tissue in the mucous membranes of the pharynx and base of the tongue. The free surface of each tonsil is covered with stratified squamous epithelium that forms deep indentations, or crypts, extending into the substance of the tonsil. The palatine tonsils, pharyngeal tonsils (adenoids), and lingual tonsils form a ring of immunologically active tissue.
Enlarge picture
INFLAMED TONSILS: Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2. A rounded mass on the inferior surface of the cerebellum lying lateral to the uvula.

Infection of the Tonsils

Tonsils detect and respond to pathogens entering the body through the mouth and nose. Inflammation of the tonsils (tonsillitis) occurs during upper respiratory infections caused by common viruses. Beta-hemolytic streptococci or, occasionally, Staphylococcus aureus infections may occur as primary infections or follow viral infections, most commonly in children and immunocompromised adults. Clinically, the patient will have enlarged, reddened, tender glands, often coated with inflammatory exudate, which may form a pseudomembrane. The tonsils may stay enlarged after multiple infections and are sometimes surgically removed (tonsillectomy). See: illustration

Rheumatic fever, an autoimmune inflammatory disease, develops 2 to 3 weeks after streptococcal infections in about 3% of patients; it is believed that antibodies against streptococcal pharyngitis cross-react with antigens in the heart and joints.

cerebellar tonsil

One of a pair of cerebellar lobules on either side of the uvula, projecting from the inferior surface of the cerebellum.

faucial tonsil

Palatine tonsil.

lingual tonsil

A mass of lymphoid tissue located in the root of the tongue.

nasal tonsil

Lymphoid tissue on the nasal septum.

palatine tonsil

Two oval masses of lymphoid tissue that lie in the tonsillar fossa on each side of the oral pharynx between the glossopalatine and pharyngopalatine arches. They are commonly known as the tonsils. Synonym: faucial tonsil

pharyngeal tonsil

Lymphoid tissue on the roof of the posterior superior wall of the nasopharynx. It is commonly called adenoids.
See: adenoid

tubal tonsil

Lymphoid tissue located in the mucous membrane of the tube connecting the middle ear to the nasopharynx.

tonsil

1. An oval mass of lymphoid tissue, of variable size, situated on the back of the throat on either side of the soft palate.
2. Any bodily structure resembling the palatine tonsil.

tonsil

one of the two large outgrowths at the back of the human oral cavity which have a lymphatic function. The tissue can become infected, resulting in considerable soreness and general ill-health. The removal of children's tonsils by surgery (tonsillectomy) used to be common, but is less popular nowadays.

ton·sil

(ton'sil)
1. Intramucosal collection of lymphocytes or aggregated lymphoid tissue closely associated with overlying epithelium, including pharyngeal tonsil (adenoid), palatine tonsil, and lingual tonsil, which collectively form a lymphoepithelial ring in pharynx.
2. Synonym(s): palatine tonsil.
3. An anatomic structure resembling palatine tonsil in form.
[L. tonsilla, a stake, as a pl, the tonsils]

tonsil (ton´sil),

n a rounded mass of tissue, usually of a lymphoid nature.
tonsil, lingual,
n a variable mass of lymphoid tissue at the base of the dorsal surface of the tongue.
tonsil, palatine,
n one of two small tissue masses on opposite sides of the oropharynx, between the faucial pillars, which are believed to serve as the first line of defense against bacteria that enters the oral cavity via the oral cavity.
tonsil, pharyngeal
n a mass of lymphoid tissue on the posterior wall of the nasopharynx; also known as the adenoids.

tonsil

1. a small mass of lymphoid tissue, especially that found in close association with the mucous membrane of the throat; generally used alone to designate the palatine tonsil. Other structures referred to as tonsils are the cecal, lingual, esophageal, paraepiglottic, pharyngeal and tubal lymphoid aggregations.
2. a small mass of tissue.

cecal tonsil
the accumulated mass of lymphoid tissue in the wall of cecum especially the proximal segment of the avian cecum.
cerebellar tonsil
a rounded mass forming part of the cerebellum on its inferior surface.
esophageal tonsil
large volume of lymphoid tissue in the caudal segment of the duck's esophagus.
follicular tonsil
a tonsil bearing numerous invaginations of its surface epithelium (fossulae) each surrounded by lymphoid tissue to form a follicle, as in the palatine tonsils of cattle or the lingual tonsils of the horse.
lingual tonsil
diffuse collection of lymphoid tissue near the tongue root of most mammals.
palatine tonsil
see palatine tonsil.
paraepiglottic tonsil
a collection of lymphoid tissue craniolateral to the epiglottic base.
pharyngeal tonsil
a collection of lymphoid tissue in the roof of the nasopharynx in pigs.
soft palate tonsil
lymphoid tissue within the soft palate; principal tonsils in pigs in which it forms twin smooth patches of mucosa.
tubal tonsil
the lymphoid tissue clustered close to the pharyngeal orifice of the auditory tube.

Patient discussion about tonsil

Q. how do i cure tonsil stones (tonsiloth)?

A. There are very little literature about this subject, but I heard about treatment in which the crypts (deep and narrow grooves on the tongue in which the stones form) are burned with laser.

As far as I know these stones don't cause damage by themselves so it's not such a common treatment.

You may read more here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonsillolith

Q. When should the tonsils and/or adenoids should be removed?

A. Currently the tonsillectomy is recommended in the presence of 6 episodes of throat infection (Group A strep pharyngitis) in one year or 3-4 episodes in each of 2years. Adenoidectomy may be recommended when tympanostomy tube surgery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tympanostomy_tube) failed to prevent ear infection.

Another thing to consider is the presence of oral breathing - the constant use of the mouth for breathing in small children may lead to malformation of the facial bones that would necessitate more extensive surgeries later in life.

More discussions about tonsil
References in periodicals archive ?
Table III lists the histological findings of the tonsil and adenoid specimens.
If direct laryngoscopy had failed, our next step was an awake fibreoptic intubation, which may have been difficult if bleeding from the lingual tonsil had occurred.
During their examinations of the patients, the scientists found no other mouth problems, but when they squeezed and massaged the patients' tonsils there was a foul-smelling discharge, suggesting the problem was fetid tonsils.
As a practicing pediatric otolaryngologist, I developed the concept of intracapsular tonsillectomy in 1996 in response to a specific case of an 11-month old boy who had documented sleep apnea secondary to enormous tonsils and a large adenoid.
Two of the three had yellow-tan, caseous necrosis of the palatine tonsils and multiple caseous yellow-tan plaques, 2- to 10-mm in diameter, on the mucosal surfaces of the esophagus, corpus, and pars pylorica.
The tonsils and adenoids may be surgically removed under general anaesthetic if chronically diseased.
There is a popular myth that tonsils and adenoids filter bacteria out of what we swallow and breathe, somewhat like a kitchen strainer.
During the study, researchers examined more than 530,000 medical records of women located in the United Kingdom and discovered pregnancy rates were higher than women who had their tonsils and appendixes removed.
Those latter two cancer types can frequently be traced to the pockets within the tonsils.
1 (ANI): It has come to light that cancer causing virus may hide in small pockets on the surface of tonsils in throats of unsuspected people.
Our new Tonsil products targeting 3-MCPD reduction are just one example of how we anticipate needs and prepare customers for the future.
On physical examination, the patient had a smooth-surface, polypoid, pedunculated tumoral lesion originating from the middle pole of the left palatine tonsil and protruding into the oropharyngeal isthmus.