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Year: 2022  Vol. 26   Num. 4  - Oct/Dec
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1742761
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Original Article
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Postinfectious Olfactory Complaints: A Follow-up Study
Author(s):
Giulio Cesare Passali, Desiderio Passali, Giorgio Ciprandi
Key words:
olfactory dysfunction - acute upper respiratory infection - olfactometry
Abstract:

Introduction Acute upper respiratory infection (AURI) is the most common cause of postinfectious olfactory dysfunction (PIOD).

Objective We investigated the prevalence of PIOD in a large group of patients reporting persistent smell impairment perception after the AURI resolution.

Methods Olfactometry was performed within 1 month after the common cold resolution and after 1 year in 467 (299 males, mean age 41.7 years) outpatients. The Sniffin' Sticks olfactory test (Burghart instruments, Wedel, Germany) was used.

Results Anosmia was documented in 28 (6%) patients, hyposmia in 33 (7%), and cacosmia in 55 (11.7%). After 1 year, PIOD improved in 82 (79.6%) patients re-tested.

Conclusion The current study demonstrated that persistent olfactory dysfunction is a relevant symptom in patients with AURI, even though many patients had normal olfactometry. Thus, smell impairment deserves careful attention and requires objective documentation.

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