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B-ENT. 2009;5 Suppl 13:89-95.

Post-infectious olfactory loss: a cohort study and update.

Author information

1
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Université Catholique de Louvain, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium. philippe.rombaux@uclouvain.be

Abstract

Post-infectious olfactory loss is defined as an olfactory dysfunction in the course of an upper respiratory tract infection. Quantitative olfactory dysfunction is usually moderate to severe, with many patients experiencing a qualitative disorder such as parosmia. Diagnosis is made on the basis of patient history, normal clinical examination (no inflammatory disease in the olfactory cleft) and decreased olfactory function. This paper provides an update of pathophysiology, clinical management and prognosis, and also looks at the clinical characteristic of a cohort of 122 patients from our department. Results from orthonasal and retronasal testing, chemosensory event-related potentials and olfactory bulb volume confirmed previous findings: our post-infectious olfactory patients were middle-aged women (sex ratio 2.4; mean age 53.9), with 47.5% and 18% of them complaining of parosmia and phantosmia respectively. More of them were hyposmic than anosmic (64.7% and 35.3% respectively) and 18 suffered repeat episodes. Olfactory bulb volume was correlated to psychophysical olfactory testing and orthonasal to retronasal scores. Olfactory-event-related potentials were found in about one-third of the patients and the vast majority of them had reproducible intranasal trigeminal event-related potentials. As there is no proven medical therapy for this disease, complete clinical evaluation of the patients may help to counsel patients about the recovery prognosis that applies to one-third of them.

PMID:
20084809
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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