J Rhinol.  2020 Nov;27(2):122-126. 10.18787/jr.2020.00335.

Assessment of Friedman Classification by Measuring Actual Tonsil Size During Surgery

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea


Background and Objectives
Adenotonsillar enlargement is a common cause of pediatric illnesses, including obstructive respiratory disease and recurrent airway infection. The current tonsil grading systems evaluate tonsil size, but the correlation with actual tonsillar size in a clinical setting has not been established. Materials and Method: Between May and July of 2018, we recruited 31 children who underwent adenotonsillectomy with no major craniofacial abnormalities. The actual size of the palatine tonsils, the long (L1) and short (S1) axes of the tonsil beyond the anterior pillar, and the real axes (L2 and S2) after tonsil extraction from the fossa were measured during surgery. Adenoid size was determined by measuring the adenoid-nasopharynx (AN) ratio through lateral view x-ray of the neck.
Though S1 was related to the Friedman scale (p<0.001), measured real axes were not (L2: p=0.058, S2: p=0.056). Also, adenoid size and AN ratio did not relate statistically to the Friedman scale (p=0.565). One of the measured real tonsil size parameters (S2) was related to AN ratio (p=0.048).
For pediatric patients undergoing tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, the Friedman grading scale based on physical examination may not reflect the actual size of the tonsils. Therefore, for children with obstructive sleep disorder or recurrent tonsillitis, intraoperative measurement of tonsil size can be helpful.


Tonsillectomy; Adenoidectomy; Child; Sleep apnea; Obstructive
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