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PLoS One ; 17(3): e0265686, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785192


Olfactory and gustatory disorders are prominent symptoms of acute COVID-19. Although both senses recover in many patients within weeks to months, persistency has been described in up to 60%. However up to now most reports on the course of chemosensitive disorders after COVID-19 are not based on psychophysical testing but only on subjective patients' ratings. In this study we assessed both olfaction and gustation using psychophysical tests eight months after COVID-19. Validated psychophysical testing revealed hyposmia in 18% and hypogeusia in even 32% of 303 included patients. This shows that olfactory and especially gustatory disorders have to be seen as important chronic symptoms post-COVID-19. The high prevalence of gustatory dysfunction indicates that gustatory function does not recover or might even deteriorate in the months following the acute infection.

COVID-19/complications , Feeding and Eating Disorders/complications , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Taste , COVID-19/etiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Olfaction Disorders/diagnosis , Surveys and Questionnaires , Taste Threshold
Laryngoscope ; 132(5): 1082-1087, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705743


OBJECTIVE: Gustatory function during COVID-19 is self-reported by around 50% of patients. However, only a few studies assessed gustation using psychophysical testing during acute infection. The objective of this study is to test gustatory function on threshold tests in the very first days of COVID-19. METHODS: Psychophysical testing consisted of validated and blinded tests for olfaction (NHANES Pocket Smell Test) and gustation (Taste Strips Test). These test kits were sent to home-quarantined patients and self-administered using a detailed instruction sheet. RESULTS: A total of 51 patients were included in this study. Testing was performed 6.5 ± 2.7 days after sampling of respiratory swabs. At this time 37% of patients stated to currently experience a gustatory impairment. The mean Taste Strips score was 10.0 ± 3.4 with 28% scoring in the range of hypogeusia. Interestingly, no significant difference in the results of gustatory testing could be observed between the group with subjectively preserved gustation and the group with self-rated taste impairment. CONCLUSION: During the very first days of COVID-19, psychophysical gustatory testing revealed hypogeusia in 28%. This is far lower than patients' self-reports. Different from previous studies, we did not find clear evidence for an impairment of only certain taste qualities. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3 Laryngoscope, 132:1082-1087, 2022.

Ageusia , COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , COVID-19/diagnosis , Dysgeusia , Humans , Nutrition Surveys , Smell , Taste , Taste Disorders/diagnosis , Taste Disorders/etiology
Int Forum Allergy Rhinol ; 12(2): 210-216, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487435


Subjectively perceived impairment of taste is a common and distinct symptom of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Large meta-analyses identified this symptom in approximately 50% of cases. However, this high prevalence is not supported by blinded and validated psychophysical gustatory testing, which showed a much lower prevalence in up to 26% of patients. This discrepancy may be due to misinterpretation of impaired retronasal olfaction as gustatory dysfunction. In addition, we hypothesized that COVID-19-associated hyposmia is involved in the decrease of gustatory function, as found for hyposmia of different origin. This indirect mechanism would be based on the central-nervous mutual amplification between the chemical senses, which fails in COVID-19-associated olfactory loss. However, further research is necessary on how severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) may directly impair the gustatory pathway as well as its subjective perception.

COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , Humans , Olfaction Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell , Taste