Background: Olfactory dysfunction in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is common during acute illness and appears to last longer than other symptoms. The aim of this study was to objectively investigate olfactory dysfunction in two cohorts of patients at two different stages: during acute illness and after a median recovery of 4 months. Methods: Twenty-five acutely ill patients and 26 recovered subjects were investigated. Acute patients had a molecular diagnosis of COVID-19; recovered subjects had a positive antibody assay and a negative molecular test. A 33-item psychophysical olfactory identification test tailored for the Italian population was performed. Results: Median time from symptoms onset to olfactory test was 33 days in acute patients and 122 days in recovered subjects. The former scored a significantly higher number of errors at psychophysical testing (median [IQR]: 8 [13] vs 3 [2], p < 0.001) and were more frequently hyposmic (64% vs 19%, p = 0.002). Recovered subjects reported a variable time to subjective olfactory recovery, from days up to 4 months. Participants included in the study reported no significant nasal symptoms at olfactory testing. Among recovered subject who reported olfactory loss during acute COVID-19, four (27%) were still hyposmic. Demographic and clinical characteristics did not show significant associations with olfactory dysfunction. Conclusion: Moderate-to-severe hospitalized patients showed a high level and frequency of olfactory dysfunction compared to recovered subjects. In the latter group, subjects who reported persisting olfactory dysfunction showed abnormal scores on psychophysical testing, indicating that, at least in some subjects, persistent hyposmia may represent a long-term sequela of COVID-19.

Testing olfactory dysfunction in acute and recovered COVID-19 patients: a single center study in Italy / J. Pasquini, C. Maremmani, S. Salvadori, V. Silani, N. Ticozzi. - In: NEUROLOGICAL SCIENCES. - ISSN 1590-1874. - 42:6(2021 Jun), pp. 2183-2189. [10.1007/s10072-021-05200-7]

Testing olfactory dysfunction in acute and recovered COVID-19 patients: a single center study in Italy

J. Pasquini;V. Silani;N. Ticozzi
2021

Abstract

Background: Olfactory dysfunction in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is common during acute illness and appears to last longer than other symptoms. The aim of this study was to objectively investigate olfactory dysfunction in two cohorts of patients at two different stages: during acute illness and after a median recovery of 4 months. Methods: Twenty-five acutely ill patients and 26 recovered subjects were investigated. Acute patients had a molecular diagnosis of COVID-19; recovered subjects had a positive antibody assay and a negative molecular test. A 33-item psychophysical olfactory identification test tailored for the Italian population was performed. Results: Median time from symptoms onset to olfactory test was 33 days in acute patients and 122 days in recovered subjects. The former scored a significantly higher number of errors at psychophysical testing (median [IQR]: 8 [13] vs 3 [2], p < 0.001) and were more frequently hyposmic (64% vs 19%, p = 0.002). Recovered subjects reported a variable time to subjective olfactory recovery, from days up to 4 months. Participants included in the study reported no significant nasal symptoms at olfactory testing. Among recovered subject who reported olfactory loss during acute COVID-19, four (27%) were still hyposmic. Demographic and clinical characteristics did not show significant associations with olfactory dysfunction. Conclusion: Moderate-to-severe hospitalized patients showed a high level and frequency of olfactory dysfunction compared to recovered subjects. In the latter group, subjects who reported persisting olfactory dysfunction showed abnormal scores on psychophysical testing, indicating that, at least in some subjects, persistent hyposmia may represent a long-term sequela of COVID-19.
Anosmia; Hyposmia; Olfactory testing; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2
Settore MED/26 - Neurologia
26-mar-2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/834594
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