Loss of smell and taste- symptoms of Covid - 19 investigated: Study
A global pandemic of SARS- CoV-2 was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, and continues to strain the healthcare system throughout the world. The virus caused respiratory disorders. A new study by Richard A. Raad and their team investigated the sinonasal symptoms and risk factors for olfactory dysfunction in the mild severity COVID-19 patient. The study has been published in The American Journal of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery.
The objective of the study as stated by the researchers was that no study to date has analyzed the progression of sinonasal symptoms over time in COVID-19 patients, hence the purpose of this study is to analyze the progression of sinonasal symptoms and risk factors for olfactory dysfunction in the mild severity COVID-19 patient was the prime concern.
The researchers used an internet survey to assess sinonasal symptoms in patients with COVID-19. Changes in rhinologic domain and symptom-specific Sinonasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) scores were compared at five-time points: two weeks before the diagnosis, at diagnosis, two weeks after diagnosis, four weeks after diagnosis, and six months after diagnosis.
The researchers collected a total of 521 responses. They found that Rhinologic domain SNOT-22 scores had increased significantly (p < 0.001) to 8.94 at the time of diagnosis, and remained elevated two weeks post-diagnosis (5.14, p = 0.004), and decreased significantly after four weeks post-diagnosis (3.14, p = 0.004). Smell-specific SNOT-22 scores also peaked at the time of diagnosis (2.05, p < 0.001), remained elevated two weeks after diagnosis (1.19, p < 0.001), and returned to baseline four weeks post-diagnosis (0.64, p > 0.999). Taste-specific SNOT-22 scores also peaked at diagnosis (2.06, p < 0.001), remained elevated two weeks after diagnosis (1.19, p < 0.001), and returned to baseline four weeks after diagnosis (0.71, p > 0.999). They found no significant differences in sense of smell or taste between 1-month and 6-month time points.
The researchers concluded that "Sinonasal symptoms, particularly loss of smell and taste, maybe important presenting symptoms in the mild severity COVID-19 patient." These findings support incorporating these symptoms into screening protocols. Investigators state that this study is the largest to date to describe the temporal progression of sinonasal symptoms up to six months in the mild severity COVID-19 population and is the fourth piece of evidence in the prognosis of covid -19.
For further information:
Richard A. Raad, Ashwin Ganti, Khodayar Goshtasbi, Brandon M. Lehrich, Peter Papagiannopoulos, Phillip LoSavio, Mahboobeh Mahdavinia, Edward C. Kuan, Pete S. Batra, Bobby A. Tajudeen " Temporal patterns of nasal symptoms in patients with mild severity SARS-CoV-2 infection" American Journal of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery 42 (2021) 103076.