Taste disorders: a survey of the examination methods and treatments used in Japan.Acta Otolaryngol 2005; 125(11):1203-10AO
In Japan, the number of patients seeking treatment for taste disorders from otolaryngologists is approximately 240 000/year, and this number has almost doubled in the last 13 years. Taste examinations are routinely conducted in almost all university hospitals; testing is not as common in private clinics. Administration of zinc is the main treatment for taste disorders in Japan.
To investigate the number of patients who visited otolaryngologists for treatment of taste disorders between 2000 and 2002. In addition to determining changes in the number of patients that had occurred in the 13 years since the last study in 1990, the survey also sought to find out what types of taste examination were used to diagnose taste disorders in Japan and what therapies were used to treat them.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
A questionnaire was mailed to 1559 members of the Japan Society of Stomato-pharyngology.
The average number of patients with taste disorders who visited otolaryngological clinics between 2000 and 2002 was 244 858/year. This number is 1.77-fold greater than the number of patients reported by the last study in 1990 (138 575). Electrogustometry was used in 99% of university hospitals and in 20% of private clinics. The filter-paper disk method was also used in 57% of university hospitals and in 27% of private clinics. The main treatment was zinc administration. Most doctors (70%) prescribed polaprezinc, a zinc-containing drug that is used to treat peptic ulcers. Of these doctors, 78% stated that it effectively treated taste disorders and 11% that it did not.