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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 May;270(6):1855-60. doi: 10.1007/s00405-012-2310-2. Epub 2012 Dec 11.

Characteristics of taste disorders.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Smell and Taste Clinic, Technical University of Dresden Medical School, Fetscherstrasse 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany.


Aim of this retrospective study was to obtain information about the frequency of taste disorders, their most frequent causes, and typical symptoms. A total of 491 out of 4,680 patients (presenting for the first time between 1998 and 2011) exhibited taste disorders (10.5 %). All patients underwent a thorough physical otorhinolaryngological examination including detailed assessment of smell and taste functions. The three most frequent causes of disorders were idiopathic (34 %), posttraumatic (24 %), and postoperative (15 %). Patients with idiopathic and postoperative taste disorders complained mainly about hypogeusia and parageusia; in comparison, patients with posttraumatic taste disorders exhibited a relatively higher degree of partial, local, or complete ageusia. Among patients with phantogeusia and parageusia, 38 % reported salty, and 22 % mixed sensations like bitter-salty or sour-sweet. In approximately 1/3 of this group of patients the cause of dysgeusia is unknown. Twenty-one percent of the patients complained of qualitative rather than quantitative taste problems.

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