This site is intended for healthcare professionals
General Practice Notebook
Medical search

Centor criteria to aid diagnosis of Group A beta-haemolytic streptococcus

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 open access pages.

Centor criteria to aid diagnosis of Group A beta-haemolytic streptococcus (GABHS)as a cause of presentation with a sore throat:
    • tonsillar exudate
    • tender anterior cervical lymph nodes
    • absence of cough
    • history of fever
  • presence of three or four of these clinical signs suggests that the chance of the patient having GABHS is between 40% and 60%, so the patient may benefit from antibiotic treatment
  • absence of three or four of the signs suggests that there is an 80% chance that the patient doesn't have the infection, and antibiotics are unlikely to be necessary
  • in patients with tonsillitis who are unwell, and have three out of four of these criteria, the risk of quinsy is 1:60 compared with 1:400 in those who are not unwell
  • centor criteria is not ideal, and will lead to some patients with bacterial pharyngitis not being treated and result in unnecessary antibiotic treatment for others


  1. MeReC Bulletin 2006;17(3):12-14.


General Practice Notebook
General Practice Notebook
The information provided herein should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Copyright 2016 Oxbridge Solutions LtdĀ®. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions LtdĀ® receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence. GPnotebook stores small data files on your computer called cookies so that we can recognise you and provide you with the best service. If you do not want to receive cookies please do not use GPnotebook.