Results from psychophysical tests of smell and taste during the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection: a review

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftÜbersichtsartikel (Review)BeigetragenBegutachtung


  • Eleonora M C Trecca - , University Hospital of Foggia (Autor:in)
  • Michele Cassano - , University Hospital of Foggia (Autor:in)
  • Francesco Longo - , IRCCS Ospedale Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza - San Giovanni Rotondo (FG) (Autor:in)
  • Paolo Petrone - , Turkish Directorate-General of Highways (Autor:in)
  • Cesare Miani - , Hospital of Tolmezzo (Autor:in)
  • Thomas Hummel - , Klinik und Poliklinik für Hals-Nasen-Ohrenheilkunde, Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus Dresden (Autor:in)
  • Matteo Gelardi - , University Hospital of Foggia (Autor:in)


Only a few studies have assessed smell and taste in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with psychophysical tests, while the majority performed self-rating evaluations. Given the heterogeneity of the published literature, the aim of this review was to systemati-cally analyse the articles on this topic with a focus on psychophysical testing. A search on PubMed and Web of Science from December 2019, to November 2021, with cross-refer-ences, was executed. The main eligibility criteria were English-language articles, investi-gating the clinical features of olfaction and gustation in COVID-19 patients using self-rat-ing assessment, psychophysical testing and imaging techniques. A total of 638 articles were identified and 66 were included. Self-rating assessment was performed in 31 studies, while psychophysical testing in 30 and imaging techniques in 5. The prevalence of chemosensory dysfunction was the most investigated topic, followed by the recovery time. About the psy-chophysical assessment, the extended version of the Sniffin’ Sticks was used in 11 articles and the Connecticut Chemosensory Clinical Research Center test in another 11. The olfactory threshold performance was the most impacted compared to the discrimination and identification capacities in accordance with the hypothesis of a tropism of SARS-CoV-2 for the olfactory mucosa. The timing significantly influenced the results of the psychophysical testing with 20% of patients presenting olfactory dysfunction at one month after infection.


Seiten (von - bis)S20-S35
FachzeitschriftActa otorhinolaryngologica italica : organo ufficiale della Soc. Italiana di Otorinolaringologia e Chirurgia Cervico-facciale
Jahrgang42 (2022)
AusgabenummerSuppl. 1
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 26 Apr. 2022

Externe IDs

PubMedCentral PMC9137382
Scopus 85129790744
unpaywall 10.14639/0392-100x-suppl.1-42-2022-03
Mendeley cb2c2e43-1fa8-36cd-9e94-364347ab925f
WOS 000899685100005
ORCID /0000-0001-9713-0183/work/146645218



  • COVID-19/complications, Humans, SARS-CoV-2, Smell, Taste, COVID-19, olfaction disorders, anosmia, taste, infections, smell, rhinology, Covid-19, Anosmia, Infections, Rhinology, Olfaction disorders