Evaluation of smell and taste in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis

Fasunla, James; Hundt, Walter; Lutz, Jens; Förger, Frauke; Thürmel, Klaus; Steinbach, Silke
January 2012
European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology;Jan2012, Vol. 269 Issue 1, p179
Academic Journal
Although a reduced olfactory/gustatory function affects patients in all parts of life, this problem has not received much attention in Wegener's granulomatosis (WG). The aim of this study was to assess the smell/taste function of WG patients. Demographic data of 16 WG patients (9 males, 7 females) were obtained. They all subjectively assessed their taste/smell function on visual analogue scale. Olfactory/gustatory functions of the patients were tested with 'Sniffin' Sticks and 'Taste' strips, respectively. The results were then compared with those from sex and age-matched control group ( n = 16) and normative data. WG patients subjectively assessed their olfactory ( p = 0.03) and gustatory ( p = 0.02) function to be lower than control group. All the olfactory scores (odour identification, odour discrimination and threshold) in both genders were significantly below the scores in the control group. WG patients were hyposmic. For taste (total taste score, as well as scores for the qualities sweet, sour, salty and bitter), WG patients did not significantly differ from controls and were normogeusic. However, the gustatory scores showed the tendency of reduction as compared to the control group. In conclusion, WG patients truly suffer from olfactory/taste dysfunction, but this is worse with olfaction. It is, therefore, imperative that physicians should make their patients to be aware of these sensory dysfunctions and educate them on methods to cope with it for better quality of life.


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