Prognostic factors of olfactory dysfunction

January 01, 0001

Prognostic factors of olfactory dysfunction

These German authors conducted a retrospective analysis to determine appropriate counseling of patients with olfactory dysfunction. They included a total of 361 males and 533 females, aged 11 to 84 years.

They found: "Although 431 patients (48.2%) had functional anosmia at the first olfactory assessment, 444 (49.7%) had hyposmia, and 19 (2.1%) had normosmia; at the second assessment, 278 (31.1%) had functional anosmia, 496 (55.5%) had hyposmia, and 120 (13.4%) had normal olfactory function. Changes in smell scores depended positively on the initial score and negatively on age and smoking habits. Normosmia was more likely to be restored in females and when residual olfactory function was relatively high. In contrast, the origin of dysfunction had no direct predictive value because it was mostly reflected by initial smell scores. However, in a subanalysis omitting the initial olfactory performance as a potential predictor, the initial presence of parosmia was associated with a lower probability of anosmia as the final outcome."

The authors concluded: "The prognosis of olfactory dysfunction mainly depends on residual function, sex, parosmia, smoking habits, and age, whereas in this statistical model, origin plays only a second-line role, reflected in different degrees of initial olfactory loss."

Functional anosmia has a poor prognosis for improvement according to these data.

For the full abstract, click here.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 136(4):347-351, April 2010
© 2010 to the American Medical Association
Prognostic Factors of Olfactory Dysfunction. Thomas Hummel, Jorn Lotsch. Correspondence to Dr. Hummel: [email protected]

Category: N. Neurological. Keywords: anosmia, hyposmia, parosmia, normosmia, prognosis, retrospective chart review, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 11 May 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.