Mononucleosis physical examination
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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. 
The classic initial presentation of mononucleosis include: fever, lymphadenopathy, pharyngitis, rash and/or periorbital oedema. Occasionally, patients infected with EBV may also display splenomegaly, with subsequent life-threatening complication of splenic rupture and/or hepatomegaly.
Active EBV Infection
- Bradycardia is a rare and inconsistent finding
- Maculopapular rash which is generalized, non-itchy, faint and disappears rapidly may be observed during the early phase of the disease.
- Jaundice: varies with the age of presentation. Among young adults with mono ~5% of cases present with jaundice; however, among the elderly age group, ~30% present with anicteric viral hepatitis
- Anemia is uncommon, even though EBV infection induces antibodies to RBC-membranes
- Hoagland sign: Transient bilateral supra-orbital oedema that is observed during the early stages of infection.
Ear, Nose and Throat
- Tender lymphadenopathy is present; in particular, the posterior cervical lymph nodes on both sides of the neck are involved.
- Pharyngitis secondary to mono may be either be exudative or non-exudative. Either type of pharyngitis is colonized by group A strep.
- White patches may also observed in the tonsils associated with massive tonsilar enlargement which may lead to fatal airway obstruction.
- Petechial hemorrhages may be observed in the posterior oropharynx; particularly involving the palate.
- Tender splenomegaly is a late-feature. Following recovery from initial illness, spleen returns to normal or near normal size.
Chronic EBV Infection
- The course of the disease can also be chronic presenting with chronic fatigue syndrome which is a variant of mononucleosis. However, the findings need to be present for months or years to be classified as chronic EBV syndrome or chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Physical findings include:
- Significantly lower level of activity in comparison to baseline
- Impaired cognitive dysfunction,
- Tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes
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