Clin Exp Otorhinolaryngol.  2020 Aug;13(3):274-284. 10.21053/ceo.2020.00864.

Development of a Korean Culture-Friendly Olfactory Function Test and Optimization of a Diagnostic Cutoff Value

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2The Airway Mucus Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Korea Mouse Sensory Phenotyping Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Taste Research Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


. Cultural familiarity and safety must be considered when assessing olfactory ability. The YSK olfactory function (YOF) test is a new olfactory function test using culturally familiar odorants to Koreans.
. The YOF test comprises three subtests for threshold (T), discrimination (D), and identification (I). The identification test included eight universal and four Korean culture-friendly odorants, which were selected considering eight major functional groups. Data were obtained from 1,127 subjects over 19 years old. Subjects were classified as having normosmia (n=542), hyposmia (n=472), and anosmia (n=113) by self-reported olfactory function. The YOF test and the Korean version of the Sniffin’ stick test (KVSS-II) were performed on the same day in random order. Diagnostic cutoffs for anosmia and hyposmia were calculated using the Youden index (J).
. The mean values for each T/D/I subtest and the total TDI score were as follows: normosmia (T, 4.6±2.3; D, 8.6±2.1; I, 11.1±1.7; TDI score, 24.2±4.5); hyposmia (T, 3.3±2.2; D, 7.1±2.5; I, 9.2±3.1; TDI score, 19.5±6.4); and anosmia (T, 1.7±1.2; D, 5.1±2.5; I, 5.0±3.2; TDI score, 11.8±5.6). The correlation coefficients between the YOF test and KVSS-II were 0.57, 0.65, 0.80, and 0.86 for T, D, I, and the TDI score, respectively (P<0.001). The diagnostic cutoffs were a TDI score ≤14.5 (J=0.67) for anosmia and 14.5(TDI score ≤21.0 (J=0.38) for hyposmia. The diagnostic efficacy of the YOF test (area under the curve [AUC], 0.88) was equivalent to that of the KVSS-II (AUC, 0.88; P=0.843; DeLong method).
. The YOF test is a new olfactory test using safe and Korean culture-friendly odorants. It showed equivalent validity with the conventional olfactory function test. Furthermore, the YOF test provides information on the major functional groups of odorants, potentially enabling a more comprehensive interpretation for patients with olfactory disorders.


Smell; Olfactory Perception; Culture; Odorants
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