Sinonasal symptoms- important diagnostic tool in SARS-CoV-2 infection
No study to date has analyzed the progression of sinonasal symptoms over time in COVID-19 patients. Sinonasal symptoms, particularly loss of smell and taste, may be important presenting symptoms in the mild severity COVID-19 patient, reported a recent study.
The study is published in the American Journal of Otolaryngology.
Richard A.Raad and colleagues from the Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, United States of America recently conducted a research with the sole purpose to analyze the progression of sinonasal symptoms and risk factors for olfactory dysfunction in the mild severity COVID-19 patient.
An internet survey was used 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 diagnosis, at diagnosis, two weeks after diagnosis, four weeks after diagnosis, and six months after diagnosis.
521 responses were collected. Rhinologic domain SNOT-22 scores increased significantly (p < 0.001) to 8.94 at the time of diagnosis, remained elevated two weeks post-diagnosis (5.14, p = 0.004), and decreased significantly four weeks post-diagnosis (3.14, p = 0.004).
It was also observed that smell-specific SNOT-22 scores 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).
Furthermore, 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).
However, there were no significant differences in sense of smell or taste between 1-month and 6-month time points.
Hence, the authors led to this conclusion that sinonasal symptoms, particularly loss of smell and taste, may be important presenting symptoms in the mild severity COVID-19 patient.
The findings support incorporating these symptoms into screening protocols, they further added.