Acute-onset smell and taste disorders in the context of Covid-19: a pilot multicenter PCR-based case-control study.
Eur J Neurol. 2020 Apr 22;:
Authors: Beltrán-Corbellini Á, Chico-García JL, Martínez-Poles J, Rodríguez-Jorge F, Natera-Villalba E, Gómez-Corral J, Gómez-López A, Monreal E, Parra-Díaz P, Cortés-Cuevas JL, Galán JC, Fragola-Arnau C, Porta-Etessam J, Masjuan J, Alonso-Cánovas A
BACKGROUND: Specific respiratory tract infections, including Covid-19, may cause smell and/or taste disorders (STD) with increased frequency. We aim to determine whether new-onset STD are more frequent among Covid-19 patients than influenza patients.
METHODS: Case-control study including hospitalized patients of two tertiary care centers. Consecutive patients positive for Covid-19 PCR (cases) and patients positive for influenza PCR (historical control sample) were assessed during specific periods, employing a self-reported STD questionnaire.
RESULTS: Seventy-nine cases and 40 controls were included. No significant differences were found in basal features between both groups. New-onset STD were significantly more frequent among cases (31, 39.2%) than in the control group (5, 12.5 %), adjusted OR 21.4 (2.77-165.4, p=0.003). Covid-19 patients with new-onset STD were significantly younger than Covid-19 patients without STD (52.6 ± 17.2 vs. 67.4 ±15.1, p<0,001). Among Covid-19 patients who presented STD, 22 (70.9%) recalled an acute onset and was an initial manifestation in 11 (35.5%). Twenty-five (80.6%) presented smell disorders (mostly anosmia, 14, 45.2%), and 28 (90.3%) taste disorders (mostly ageusia, 14, 45.2%). Only four (12.9 %) reported concomitant nasal obstruction. Mean duration of STD was 7.5 ± 3.2 days and 12 patients (40%) manifested complete recovery after 7.4 ± 2.3 days of onset.
CONCLUSION: New-onset STD were significantly more frequent among Covid-19 patients than influenza patients, they usually had an acute onset and were commonly an initial manifestation. We suggest the use of STD assessment in anamnesis as a hint for Covid-19 and to support individuals' self-isolation in the current epidemic context.
PMID: 32320508 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]