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VOLUME 14 , ISSUE 2 ( May-August, 2022 ) > List of Articles


Olfactory and Taste Dysfunctions and Their Implications in Cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2: A Single-institute Study of 58 Cases

Prakhar Goel, Anjan K Sahoo, Praveen K Rathore

Keywords : Ageusia, Anosmia, COVID-19, Otorhinolaryngology, Pandemic

Citation Information : Goel P, Sahoo AK, Rathore PK. Olfactory and Taste Dysfunctions and Their Implications in Cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2: A Single-institute Study of 58 Cases. Int J Otorhinolaryngol Clin 2022; 14 (2):56-59.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10003-1427

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 17-06-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Importance: There is a need to identify the implications of the loss of smell and taste in cases of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Objective: To determine whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is causing isolated anosmia in adult population and whether there is a role of intranasal corticosteroids (INCs) in cases of olfactory dysfunctions (ODs). Design: This was a prospective, cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study of 416 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in a single institute. Setting: Dedicated COVID-19 facility. Participants: All patients had been tested for COVID-19 using a reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based test. Patients who were hospitalized were approached in person. All patients who were discharged were then contacted by telephone up to two times to complete the study. Patients who were not reachable with two telephone calls were excluded. Demographic characteristics of the participants—age, sex, and smoking history—were collected. A standardized questionnaire was given to participants. Result: Olfactory dysfunctions (ODs) was observed in 58 patients and isolated anosmia in 3.6% of patients; 82.7% showed complete recovery of smell, and 6.9% had partial recovery following INCs. Conclusion: Patients reporting recent onset of anosmia should be considered positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection until proven otherwise by a screening polymerase chain reaction test. Also, ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeons in particular who see patients with new-onset anosmia during the COVID-19 pandemic must take safety measures to reduce the risk of exposure and infection of healthcare workers and recommend such patients for RT-PCR test. Females and young adults are more prone to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Early intervention by INCs could be beneficial in improving olfactory and taste dysfunctions (OTDs) and other post-viral neurological manifestations. It could be beneficial in improving the quality of life of elderly patients who are at a higher risk of permanent OTDs. Smokers are at a higher risk of OTDs, but this could be reversible after smoking cessation. There is a need to put SARS-CoV-2 as a differential diagnosis in cases of sudden isolated OTDs.

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