Article # 2928
Journal Rhinology 0 - 0
Article Title High prevalence of long-term olfactory, gustatory, and chemesthesis dysfunction in post-COVID-19 patients: a matched case-control study with one-year follow-up using a comprehensive psychophysical evaluation
Abstract Background: Using an age and gender matched-pair case-control study, we aimed to estimate the long-term prevalence of psychophysical olfactory, gustatory , and chemesthesis impairment at least one year after SARS-CoV-2 infection considering the background of chemosensory dysfunction in non-COVID-19 population.
Methodology: This case-controlled study included 100 patients who were home-isolated for mildly symptomatic COVID-19 between March and April 2020. One control regularly tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection and always tested negative was matched to each case according to gender and age. Chemosensory function was investigated by a comprehensive psychophysical evaluation including ortho- and retronasal olfaction and an extensive assessment of gustatory function. Differences in chemosensory parameters were evaluated through either Fisher’s exact test or Kruskal-Wallis test.
Results: The psychophysical assessment of chemosensory function took place after a median of 401 days from the first SARS-CoV-2 positive swab. The evaluation of orthonasal smell identified 46% and 10% of cases and controls, respectively, having olfactory dysfunction, with 7% of COVID-19 cases being functionally anosmic. Testing of gustatory function revealed a 27% of cases versus 10% of controls showing a gustatory impairment. Nasal trigeminal sensitivity was significantly lower in cases compared to controls. Persistent chemosensory impairment was associated with emotional distress and depression.
Conclusion: More than one year after the onset of COVID-19, cases exhibited an excess of olfactory, gustatory , and chemesthesis disturbances compared to matched-pair controls with these symptoms being associated to emotional distress and depression.
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