Korean J Otolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2000 Aug;43(8):844-848.

Transition of the Olfactory Recovery in Patients with Olfactory Disturbance

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Pochon Jungmun Medical University, Sungnam, Korea. pjmuent@nownuri.net


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Recently, there has been an increase in olfactory disorders due to many etiologies. Many therapeutic methods have been tried with some favorable results. Some of the therapeutic methods are functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), oral and topical steroids, and other pharmacologic therapies (vitamin A, aminophylline, zinc sulfate, etc). In this study, we tried to find out the transition of olfactory recovery in patients with olfactory disturbance.
Sixty-one patients with olfactory disturbance were studied. There were 25 patients who had chronic sinusitis with nasal polyp, 10 patients who had chronic sinusitis without nasal polyp, 12 patients who had upper respiratory infection, 5 patients who had congenital disorder, 4 patients who had head trauma, and 5 patients who had nasal septal deviation. Chronic sinusitis was treated by functional endoscopic sinus surgery, nasal septal deviation was treated by septoplasty and others were treated by drug therapy and topical steroid. The degree of olfactory disturbance and recovery was scored with a KVSS test (Korean Version of Sniffin Sticks test) prior to treatment and also three and six months after the treatment.
Twenty-one patients with chronic sinusitis with nasal polyp (84%) showed improvement of olfaction on the third postoperative month, and 6 months later (p<0.01). Seven patients with chronic sinusitis without nasal polyp (70%) also showed improvement of olfaction (p<0.01). But seven patients with upper respiratory tract infection (58%) did not show significant improvement of olfaction, and it would be necessary to follow up these patients longer. Patients with congenital disorder, nasal septal deviaton, and head trauma did not show significant improvement of olfaction.
The mentioned test can aid in investigating the etiology of olfactory disturbance, and in accurately assessing the degree of the olfactory disturbance.


Olfactory disturbance; Olfaction; Olfactory function test (KVSS Test)
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