Follow-up and Outcome of Olfactory and Gustatory Dysfunctionsin Patients with COVID-19

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor, Infectious and Tropical Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Infectious and Tropical Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

4 MD, Department of Pediatrics. Resident of Pediatrics, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

5 Medical Student, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


Background: Olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions can be considered as important symptoms to screen for the mild cases of the COVID-19 disease. However, there are limited studies on the specificity of olfactory and gustatory changes in patients with COVID-19, and it is unclear to what extent the changes may be unique to the disease. This study aimed to evaluate the duration and outcome of olfactory and gustatory disorders in patients with COVID-19.
Methods: The study population was patients with COVID-19 at Afzalipour Hospital whose disease was confirmed by nasopharyngeal polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. 20 patients with olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions were studied. Data were collected using two forms, which were completed at the time of diagnosis and two weeks after the onset of the disease.
Results: In 20% of the patients, olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions were among the early symptoms. In 85% of the cases, these dysfunctions were permanent during the disease. 30% of the cases had a chronic underlying disease such as sinusitis, nasal polyps, and allergy. In follow-up, 13 patients (60%) reported that their olfactory dysfunctions had completely improved.
Conclusion: The patients whose only symptom is the sudden olfactory or gustatory dysfunction or the dysfunctions are among their early symptoms, should be screened for COVID-19. Most of the patients will recover over the time.


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