Odor dilution sorting as a clinical test of olfactory function: normative values and reliability data

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



Clinical assessment of an individual’s sense of smell has gained prominence, but its resource-intensive nature necessitates the exploration of self-administered methods. In this study, a cohort of 68 patients with olfactory loss and 55 controls were assessed using a recently introduced olfactory test. This test involves sorting 2 odorants (eugenol and phenylethyl alcohol) in 5 dilutions according to odor intensity, with an average application time of 3.5 min. The sorting task score, calculated as the mean of Kendall’s Tau between the assigned and true dilution orders and normalized to [0,1], identified a cutoff for anosmia at a score ≤ 0.7. This cutoff, which marks the 90th percentile of scores obtained with randomly ordered dilutions, had a balanced accuracy of 89% (78% to 97%) for detecting anosmia, comparable to traditional odor threshold assessments. Retest evaluations suggested a score difference of ±0.15 as a cutoff for clinically significant changes in olfactory function. In conclusion, the olfactory sorting test represents a simple, self-administered approach to the detection of anosmia or preserved olfactory function. With balanced accuracy similar to existing brief olfactory tests, this method offers a practical and user-friendly alternative for screening anosmia, addressing the need for resource-efficient assessments in clinical settings.


FachzeitschriftChemical senses
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Jan. 2024

Externe IDs

PubMed 38401152
ORCID /0000-0001-9713-0183/work/157319378
ORCID /0000-0003-1311-8000/work/158767608
Scopus 85189140213



  • Data science, Human olfaction, Olfactory testing, Humans, Odorants, Olfaction Disorders/diagnosis, Anosmia, Reproducibility of Results, Sensory Thresholds, Smell