Smell and taste dysfunction during the COVID-19 outbreak: a preliminary report

Main Article Content

Matteo Gelardi
Eleonora Trecca
Michele Cassano
Giorgio Ciprandi


COVID-19, anosmia, dysgeusia, respiratory symptoms.


In late December 2019, in Wuhan (China), health authorities reported several clusters of pneumo- nia of unknown cause, subsequently attributed to a novel coronavirus, identified as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus 2. Anosmia and dysgeusia have been reported as particular symptoms.4,5  Notably, these sensory symptoms seem to have a peculiar trend, such as usually precede the onset of respiratory symp- toms. So, they have been defined as “sentinel” symptoms. We presented a series of COVID-19 patients. Anos- mia and dysgeusia frequently preceded respiratory complaints. Anosmia and dysgeusia seem to be short-lived and self-resolving in COVID-19, thus a neurotoxic effect swiftly disappearing and/or cytopathic damage could be hypothesized similarly to other viral infections.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 659 | PDF Downloads 197


1) Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, Li X, Yang B, Song J, et al. A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China, 2019. N Engl J Med 2020; 382:727-733.
2) World Health Organization. WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020.
3) Vukkadala N, Qian ZJ, Holsinger FC, Patel ZM, Rosenthal E. COVID-19 and the otolaryngologist – preliminary evidence-based review. Laryngoscope 2020 (in press)
4) Joshi A, Rao G. Coronavirus: Expert says new symptoms could be loss of taste or smell. Sky News. taste-or-smell-11961439. Published March 21, 2020.
5) Hopkins C, Kumar N. Loss of sense of smell as marker of COVID-19 infection. ENT UK. Published in 2020. Accessed March 30, 2020.
6) Gelardi M, Piccininni K, Quaranta N, Quaranta V, Silvestri M, Ciprandi G. Olfactory dysfunction in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps is associated with Clinical-Cytological Grading severity. Acta ORL Italica 2019;39:329-35
7) Joseph T, Auger SD, Peress L, Rack D, Cuzick J, Giovannoni G, et al. Screening Performance of Abbreviated Versions of the UPSIT Smell Test. J Neurol 2019;266:1897-1906
8) Kim SJ, Windon MJ, Lin SY. The Association Between Diabetes and Olfactory Impairment in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol 2019;4:465-75
9) Gelardi M, Ciprandi G. Nasal Cytology identifies healthy and damaged nasal epithelial cells. Acta Biomedica 2020;19:148-9

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 > >>