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J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2002 Jun;17(3):251-6.

Assessment of anosmia after traumatic brain injury: performance characteristics of the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test.

Author information

1
Center for Neuromuscular Sciences, Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, Illinois 62781, USA. callahan.chuck@mhsil.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the performance characteristics of two forms of the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) in a sample of persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

DESIGN:

Analysis of consecutive admissions into a brain injury rehabilitation program.

SETTING:

Midwestern medical center.

PARTICIPANTS:

One hundred twenty-two adults diagnosed with TBI (49% severe TBI, 16% moderate TBI, 35% mild TBI).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT; 3- and 40-item versions).

RESULTS:

Fifty-six percent of sample exhibited impaired olfaction on the full UPSIT; 40% of these patients were unaware of their deficits. Contrary to expectation, TBI patients detected dangerous odors (natural gas, gasoline, smoke) with high accuracy. Usefulness of a 3-item screening measure was examined: Missing even one item related to a 2:1 likelihood of being anosmic.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings support past investigations indicating that anosmia, and unawareness of olfactory dysfunction, are common in persons with TBI and related to injury severity. The use of the 3-item screening measure as a gross indicator was supported, although caution is advised, because nearly 20% of patients performing perfectly on the 3-item screen scored in the anosmic range on the full UPSIT.

PMID:
12086578
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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