Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pediatrics. 2006 Sep;118(3):e697-703. Epub 2006 Aug 14.

Olfactory disorder in children with 22q11 deletion syndrome.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York, USA.



22q11 deletion syndrome, a common human interstitial deletion syndrome (1:5000), is associated with a heterogeneous physical phenotype, including several factors that markedly increase the risk for olfactory disorder. Despite its potential consequences, pediatric studies of impaired olfaction are rare, and odor detection in children with 22q11 deletion syndrome has not yet been examined.


The University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test was administered to 62 children, including 39 with 22q11 deletion syndrome and 23 neurotypical control siblings who ranged in age from 5.3 to 14.8 years. Lowered smell detection accuracy among affected children was predicted.


Substantially more children with 22q11 deletion syndrome (68%) as compared with neurotypical control subjects (13%) had University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test scores > or = 2 SDs below the standardization sample mean. Frequency of impairment in younger versus older children did not differ. The score distributions of children with and without velopharyngeal insufficiency did not differ; however, markedly lower score variance among children with velopharyngeal insufficiency suggested its negative impact on olfaction. Posthoc error analyses revealed that affected children had special difficulty detecting smells that are associated with fumes and smoke.


Odor detection failures are ubiquitous among children with 22q11 deletion syndrome and are not associated with developmental delay or performance characteristics of younger affected children. Additional studies are needed to examine further the impact on olfaction of velopharyngeal insufficiency and compromised nasal airway patency. Children with 22q11 deletion syndrome should be evaluated routinely for olfactory disorder. When deficits are identified, caregivers should be warned of potential dangers that are associated with this type of sensory impairment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center