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Nihon Jibiinkoka Gakkai Kaiho. 2006 May;109(5):440-6.

[Treatment outcome in patients with taste disturbance].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Otolaryngology, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya.


The importance of taste has been recently evaluated from the standpoint of quality of life, but few reports exist on the clinical status of taste disturbance. We classified taste disturbance by cause and studied the effect of treatment and recovery duration. Subjects were 321 patients with taste disturbance, i.e., 131 men and 190 women (mean age: 59.9 years). Electrogustometry (EGM) and filter paper disks (FPD) were used to assess taste function in all subjects. We also asked them all about the degree of symptoms using visual analog scale (VAS). Statistical analysis was done using the unpaired t-test, with p<0.05 considered significant. Patients were treated with zinc sulfate, ferrotherapy, herbal medicine, and minor tranquilizers. Causes of taste disturbance were classified into idiopathic, post-common-cold, drug-induced, psychogenic, constitutional, and iron deficiency. Idiopathic taste disturbance was the commonest cause (125 cases, 38.9%), followed by drug-induced (62 cases, 19.3%), and post common cold (38 cases, 11.8%). Drug induced and psychogenic taste disturbance have increased. Recovery from symptoms was 79/103 (76.7%) in idiopathic taste disturbance, 24/33 (72.7%) in post-common-cold, and 14/17 (82.4%) in iron deficiency. Recovery took 22.2 weeks. Recovery was 32/50 cases (62.4%) in drug induced, taking 48 weeks. For all causes, EGM and FPD results were not associated with the degree of symptoms. Both tests tended to show delayed improvement compared to symptoms. Cases taking more than 6 months from symptom onset to medical examination showed significantly lower improvement and longer recovery time than those taking 6 months on less (p = 0.04).

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