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A review of smell and taste dysfunction in COVID-19 patients.
Med J Malaysia. 2020 09; 75(5):574-581.MJ

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Multiple anecdotal reports suggest that smell and taste loss were early subclinical symptoms of COVID-19 patients. The objective of this review was to identify the incidence of smell and taste dysfunction in COVID-19, determine the onset of their symptoms and the risk factors of anosmia, hyposmia, ageusia or dysgeusia for COVID-19 infection.

METHODS

We searched the PubMed and Google Scholar on 15th May 2020, with search terms including SARS-COV-2, coronavirus, COVID-19, hyposmia, anosmia, ageusia and dysgeusia. The articles included were cross sectional studies, observational studies and retrospective or prospective audits, letters to editor and short communications that included a study of a cohort of patients. Case reports, case-series and interventional studies were excluded.

DISCUSSION

A total of 16 studies were selected. Incidence of smell and taste dysfunction was higher in Europe (34 to 86%), North America (19 to 71%) and the Middle East (36 to 98%) when compared to the Asian cohorts (11 to 15%) in COVID-19 positive patients. Incidence of smell and taste dysfunction in COVID-19 negative patients was low in comparison (12 to 27%). Total incidence of smell and taste dysfunction from COVID-19 positive and negative patients from seven studies was 20% and 10% respectively. Symptoms may appear just before, concomitantly, or immediately after the onset of the usual symptoms. Occurs predominantly in females. When occurring immediately after the onset of the usual symptoms, the median time of onset was 3.3 to 4.4 days. Symptoms persist for a period of seven to 14 days. Patients with smell and taste dysfunction were reported to have a six to ten-fold odds of having COVID-19.

CONCLUSION

Smell and taste dysfunction has a high incidence in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. The incidence was lower in the Asia region. It is a strong risk factor for COVID-19. It may be the only symptom and should be added to the list of symptoms when screening for COVID- 19.

Authors+Show Affiliations

KPJ Healthcare University College, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. hardip88@gmail.com.KPJ Healthcare University College, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Hospital Pantai Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.KPJ Healthcare University College, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32918429

Citation

Wong, D K C., et al. "A Review of Smell and Taste Dysfunction in COVID-19 Patients." The Medical Journal of Malaysia, vol. 75, no. 5, 2020, pp. 574-581.
Wong DKC, Gendeh HS, Thong HK, et al. A review of smell and taste dysfunction in COVID-19 patients. Med J Malaysia. 2020;75(5):574-581.
Wong, D. K. C., Gendeh, H. S., Thong, H. K., Lum, S. G., Gendeh, B. S., Saim, A., & Salina, H. (2020). A review of smell and taste dysfunction in COVID-19 patients. The Medical Journal of Malaysia, 75(5), 574-581.
Wong DKC, et al. A Review of Smell and Taste Dysfunction in COVID-19 Patients. Med J Malaysia. 2020;75(5):574-581. PubMed PMID: 32918429.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - A review of smell and taste dysfunction in COVID-19 patients. AU - Wong,D K C, AU - Gendeh,H S, AU - Thong,H K, AU - Lum,S G, AU - Gendeh,B S, AU - Saim,A, AU - Salina,H, PY - 2020/9/12/entrez PY - 2020/9/13/pubmed PY - 2020/9/25/medline SP - 574 EP - 581 JF - The Medical journal of Malaysia JO - Med J Malaysia VL - 75 IS - 5 N2 - INTRODUCTION: Multiple anecdotal reports suggest that smell and taste loss were early subclinical symptoms of COVID-19 patients. The objective of this review was to identify the incidence of smell and taste dysfunction in COVID-19, determine the onset of their symptoms and the risk factors of anosmia, hyposmia, ageusia or dysgeusia for COVID-19 infection. METHODS: We searched the PubMed and Google Scholar on 15th May 2020, with search terms including SARS-COV-2, coronavirus, COVID-19, hyposmia, anosmia, ageusia and dysgeusia. The articles included were cross sectional studies, observational studies and retrospective or prospective audits, letters to editor and short communications that included a study of a cohort of patients. Case reports, case-series and interventional studies were excluded. DISCUSSION: A total of 16 studies were selected. Incidence of smell and taste dysfunction was higher in Europe (34 to 86%), North America (19 to 71%) and the Middle East (36 to 98%) when compared to the Asian cohorts (11 to 15%) in COVID-19 positive patients. Incidence of smell and taste dysfunction in COVID-19 negative patients was low in comparison (12 to 27%). Total incidence of smell and taste dysfunction from COVID-19 positive and negative patients from seven studies was 20% and 10% respectively. Symptoms may appear just before, concomitantly, or immediately after the onset of the usual symptoms. Occurs predominantly in females. When occurring immediately after the onset of the usual symptoms, the median time of onset was 3.3 to 4.4 days. Symptoms persist for a period of seven to 14 days. Patients with smell and taste dysfunction were reported to have a six to ten-fold odds of having COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Smell and taste dysfunction has a high incidence in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. The incidence was lower in the Asia region. It is a strong risk factor for COVID-19. It may be the only symptom and should be added to the list of symptoms when screening for COVID- 19. SN - 0300-5283 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32918429/A_review_of_smell_and_taste_dysfunction_in_COVID_19_patients_ L2 - http://www.e-mjm.org/2020/v75n5/COVID-19.pdf DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -