A pilot study of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) on the olfactory function of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 disease has been accepted for publication in Journal of Neurology, according to announcement on Thursday.
The study was conducted by Georgios Tsivgoulis, Professor of Neurology at the NKUA's 2nd Neurological Clinic, Sotirios Tsiodras, Professor of Infectious Diseases at the NKUA's 4th Department of Pathology, Assistant Professor of the NKUA's 2nd Otolaryngology Clinic Alexandros Delidis and Petros Sfikakis, Professor of Pathology at the First Educational Pathology Clinic and President of the NKUA Medical School.
For the study, a quantitative screening test was performed on 22 patients with confirmed COVID-19 disease through the certified and weighted Q-SIT test. In addition, patients completed specific questionnaires to detect pre-existing olfactory dysfunction before the onset of COVID-19 disease or other disorders (such as nasal congestion) that could affect their performance in the objective control of olfactory function. Finally, the population was compared to a healthy reference population, weighted in terms of age and gender, which had been tested before the pandemic.
After a statistical analysis of the data, the researchers concluded that patients with COVID-19 had a lower median value (2, intrathecal range 1-2) of the Q-SIT score than controls (intermediate value 3, intrathecal range 2-3). ). This finding suggests olfactory disorder (anosmia or hypoosmia) in patients with COVID-19 disease in relation to the healthy population. Also, the finding of normal olfactory function was less common in patients treated with COVID-19 (23 pct) compared to controls (64 pct). In fact, this result was independent of any co-occurrence of nasal congestion in patients.
This study confirms in an objective way the frequent occurrence of olfactory disorders reported in patients with confirmed COVID-19 disease and emphasises the importance of quantitative diagnosis of similar symptoms (anosmia, hyposmia or hypogeusia).