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Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital ; 41(3): 197-205, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222316


Objective: Interactions between SARS-CoV-2 and pharyngeal associated lymphoid tissue are thought to influence the manifestations of COVID-19. We aimed to determine whether a previous history of tonsillectomy, as a surrogate indicator of a dysfunctional pharyngeal associated lymphoid tissue, could predict the presentation and course of COVID-19. Methods: Multicentric cross-sectional observational study involving seven hospitals in Northern and Central Italy. Data on the clinical course and signs and symptoms of the infection were collected from 779 adults who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and analysed in relation to previous tonsillectomy, together with demographic and anamnestic data. Results: Patients with previous tonsillectomy showed a greater risk of fever, temperature higher than 39°C, chills and malaise. No significant differences in hospital admissions were found. Conclusions: A previous history of tonsillectomy, as a surrogate indicator of immunological dysfunction of the pharyngeal associated lymphoid tissue, could predict a more intense systemic manifestation of COVID-19. These results could provide a simple clinical marker to discriminate suspected carriers and to delineate more precise prognostic models.

COVID-19 , Palatine Tonsil , Tonsillectomy/adverse effects , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Palatine Tonsil/surgery , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
Chem Senses ; 462021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1080838


This study prospectively assessed the 6-month prevalence of self-reported and psychophysically measured olfactory dysfunction in subjects with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. Self-reported smell or taste impairment was prospectively evaluated by SNOT-22 at diagnosis, 4-week, 8-week, and 6-month. At 6 months from the diagnosis, psychophysical evaluation of olfactory function was also performed using the 34-item culturally adapted University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (CA-UPSIT). 145 completed both the 6-month subjective and psychophysical olfactory evaluation. According to CA-UPSIT, 87 subjects (60.0%) exhibited some smell dysfunction, with 10 patients being anosmic (6.9%) and seven being severely microsmic (4.8%). At the time CA-UPSIT was administered, a weak correlation was observed between the self-reported alteration of the sense of smell or taste and olfactory test scores (Spearman's r = -0.26). Among 112 patients who self-reported normal sense of smell at last follow-up, CA-UPSIT revealed normal smell in 46 (41.1%), mild microsmia in 46 (41.1%), moderate microsmia in 11 (9.8%), severe microsmia in 3 (2.3%), and anosmia in 6 (5.4%) patients; however, of those patients self-reporting normal smell but who were found to have hypofunction on testing, 62 out of 66 had a self-reported reduction in sense of smell or taste at an earlier time point. Despite most patients report a subjectively normal sense of smell, we observed a high percentage of persistent smell dysfunction at 6 months from the diagnosis of syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, with 11.7% of patients being anosmic or severely microsmic. These data highlight a significant long-term rate of smell alteration in patients with previous SARS-COV-2 infection.

COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Olfaction Disorders/physiopathology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Olfaction Disorders/diagnosis , Prospective Studies , Psychophysics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Self Report , Smell , Taste