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Auris Nasus Larynx. 1988;15(2):113-6.

Importance of unilateral examination in olfactometry.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, School of Medicine, Kanazawa University, Japan.


Hyposmia, the decreased sense of smell, and anosmia, the loss of sense of smell, may be unilateral or bilateral. If the olfactory acuity examined by means of bilateral test is normal, olfactory disorders are not found; unilateral examination is therefore necessary for definite evaluation of olfactory acuity. As evidence, 7 cases out of 94 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis and 6 cases out of 12 patients who received the surgery of anterior cranial fossa showed definite different olfactory threshold between nasal cavities, and there were no patients who recognized the diminished sense of smell in spite of unilateral high olfactory threshold. Additionally, we have experienced that a patient with brain tumor was diagnosed by the help of unilateral olfactory test. We thus strongly recommend the unilateral olfactometry as a method for simple and reliable test in clinical measurement of the sense of smell.

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