Correlations between gustatory, trigeminal, and olfactory functions and nasal airflow

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



PURPOSE: To determine the relationship of chemosensory screening and nasal airflow tests among the same set of participants, and to determine other factors that are related to the outcomes of these tests.

METHODS: Participants had no chemosensory complaints. Structured medical history was taken. Participants underwent 5 screening tests: q-sticks (orthonasal olfaction), q-powders (retronasal olfaction), trigeminal lateralization test, taste sprays, and peak nasal inspiratory flow (PNIF). Ratings of smell/taste ability and nasal airflow were obtained using visual analogue scales (VAS). Composite sinusitis symptoms and significance of olfaction questionnaire scores were also determined.

RESULTS: Four hundred participants were included in the study, 156 men, 244 women; aged 18-82 years (mean: 46). The q-powders and taste spray scores were weakly positively correlated with all the other chemosensory tests and PNIF. However, chemosensory test scores were not correlated with VAS, composite sinusitis symptoms, and significance of olfaction questionnaire scores. Various tests showed significant decrease starting at specific ages (in years, PNIF and trigeminal lateralization: 40, q-powders: 60, and q-sticks: 70).

CONCLUSION: Chemosensory screening tests and self-rated chemosensory function showed no correlation in participants without chemosensory complaints. In addition, gustatory function appeared to be correlated with olfactory and trigeminal function but also with nasal airflow, and nasal airflow was related not only to olfactory but also to trigeminal and taste function. Over all, the results suggest that chemosensory functions (orthonasal olfactory, trigeminal, retronasal olfactory, gustatory) and nasal airflow are correlated with each other, which we propose may be possibly mediated, at least in part, through central nervous system interactions.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4101-4109
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85156125609
Mendeley 1d647131-3bf2-35ee-9c1c-90f0b6ce3fdb
WOS 000979226200001
ORCID /0000-0001-6711-7359/work/142234563
ORCID /0000-0001-9713-0183/work/146645605
PubMed 37129608
ORCID /0000-0003-1311-8000/work/158767559


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards

Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Chemosensory tests, Nasal airflow, Olfactory, Smell, Taste, Trigeminal, Powders, Smell/physiology, Humans, Male, Sinusitis, Nose, Olfaction Disorders/diagnosis, Female

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