Five RCTs (n=789) were included in the review: two RCTS compared tonsillectomy with control; two RCTs compared adenotonsillectomy with control; one RCT compared adenotonsillectomy or tonsillectomy with control.
Tonsillectomy and adenotonsillectomy were considered the same for purpose of interpretation of final results. Two RCTs reported outcomes at one, two and three years of randomisation from the initial study population. Tonsillectomy was associated with significant reduction in the incidence of pharyngitis (OR 0.502, 95% CI: 0.323, 0.782, numbers needed to treat 11, 95% CI: 7, 23). Results were reported to be similar on both fixed-effect and random-effects models. The funnel plot for the primary outcome did not suggest publication bias.