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Endocr Pract. 2007 Nov-Dec;13(7):716-20.

Taste perception in kallmann syndrome, a model of congenital anosmia.

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Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona 85016-7710, USA.



To investigate taste, a component of flavor perception, using electrogustometry (EG) in patients with congenital anosmia associated with Kallmann syndrome (KS).


Four patients with KS and 4 control subjects participated in this study. During the first phase of the investigation, the study subjects were administered the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test. During the second phase of the study, EG testing of 2 regions on the anterior tongue tip was performed through an electrode.


Patients with KS, as expected, scored in the anosmic range on the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test, whereas the control group had a normal sense of smell. The difference in the olfaction scores was significant between the 2 study groups (P<0.015). The result of taste assessment of patients with KS and control subjects with use of EG was not significantly different between the 2 study groups (P = 0.874).


The current study demonstrates that patients with KS have a normal sense of taste, as determined by EG. This finding is consistent with the fact that the deficit in KS is purely olfactory. Because flavor perception is not a common complaint in patients with this condition, it may be postulated that persons with KS compensate for the absent sense of smell. Further studies need to be undertaken to explore how patients with KS compensate for the olfactory dysfunction, information that should contribute to the understanding of the interplay of the various components of flavor perception.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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