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Maturitas. 2012 Nov;73(3):244-50. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2012.07.012. Epub 2012 Aug 11.

Loss of smell but not taste in adult women with Turner's syndrome and other congenital hypogonadisms.

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Unit of Endocrinological Gynaecology, Department of Gynaecology, ICGON, Spain.



To assess the impact of Turner's syndrome (TS) and other congenital hypogonadisms (OCH) on the sense of smell and taste.


An analytical study of three independent cohorts was designed: patients affected by TS, OCH, and a control group of healthy women taking contraception.


Gynaecological Endocrinology Unit and Smell Clinic in Rhinology Unit of Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.


Thirty TS patients between 20 and 50 years of age receiving hormone replacement treatment (HT) were included as the exposed cohort; fourteen age-matched women with OCH taking HT were recruited; forty-three age-matched healthy controls receiving hormone contraception treatment were selected as the control group. This group was matched with an historical cohort of forty healthy women without contraception, used to validate BAST-24 in Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.


Clinical history, presence of nasal symptoms, general physical examination, nasal endoscopy, and Barcelona Smell Test-24 (BAST-24) and gustometry were carried out on all patients.


TS physical dysmorphology features, intensity of nasal symptoms and signs of nasal obstruction were collected. BAST-24 test included 24 odours to assess both sensory (detection, memory and forced choice) and sensitivity (intensity, irritability, freshness and pleasantness) odour characteristics, as well as 4 tastes to evaluate taste domains (detection and forced choice).


Healthy women taking hormone contraception felt odours with more intensity (p=0.002) and less irritability (p<0.001) than the historical cohort. TS patients showed a significant impairment in smell memory (p<0.005) and forced-choice (p<0.001) compared with controls taking contraception, whereas no differences were found in odour sensitivity. Detection of taste was successful in 100% of patients. When considering only individual tastes, none of them showed statistically significant differences between groups.


Patients with TS show the impairment of smell but not of taste, compared to OCH and healthy controls taking contraception. Smell sensitivity was not affected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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