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Acta Otolaryngol. 2015 Mar;135(3):258-63. doi: 10.3109/00016489.2014.974288. Epub 2015 Jan 27.

Simple assessment of olfaction in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea , Seoul , Korea.



The brief-smell identification test (B-SIT) can substitute for the butanol threshold test (BTT) in screening of anosmia and postoperative assessment of olfactory outcomes in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). A time-effective test battery composed of B-SIT and the visual analog scale (VAS) can be implemented for simple olfactory assessment in any otolaryngology clinic.


Anosmia is a distinct clinical entity requiring special attention. Unpredictable olfactory outcomes after surgery make preoperative assessment more important. We compared the results of the BTT, B-SIT, and VAS to investigate whether B-SIT or VAS can substitute for BTT in screening of anosmia and postoperative follow-up.


We collected data on 68 CRS patients who had bilateral CRS and underwent endoscopic sinus surgery. Olfactory performance was graded using the BTT: normosmia, hyposmia, or anosmia. VAS and B-SIT were also performed. All tests were repeated 6 months after surgery. Postoperative improvement was defined by an increase of the BTT score ≥ 2.


The B-SIT and VAS scores of the anomics were significantly lower than those of the normosmics. B-SIT discriminated anosmia with high specificity. Within the improvement group, postoperative increase of B-SIT/VAS score showed significance. However, neither the B-SIT nor the VAS differentiated between no change and deterioration of olfaction.


Anosmia; brief-smell identification test; butanol threshold test; endoscopic sinus surgery; visual analog scale

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