Neurosensory dysfunction: a diagnostic marker of early COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

Liang Y, et al. Int J Infect Dis 2020.


OBJECTIVES: To detailly described the neurosensory dysfunction, including hyposmia, hypogeusia and tinnitus, in patients with COVID-19.

METHODS: Clinical characteristics and oropharyngeal swabs were obtained from 86 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized in Guangzhou Eighth People's Hospital. Chronological analysis method was used to detailly clarify the neurosensory dysfunction. The cycle threshold (Ct) values were used to approximately indicate viral load.

RESULTS: Forth-four (51.2%) patients had neurosensory dysfunction: hyposmia (34, 39.5%), hypogeusia (33, 38.4%), and tinnitus (3, 3.5%). Neurosensory dysfunction was significantly more common in patients under 40 years old (p = 0.001) or women (p = 0.006). Hyposmia and hypogeusia coexisted in 23 (26.7%) patients. The interval between onset of hyposmia and hypogeusia was 0.7 ± 1.46 days. The interval from onset of hyposmia and hypogeusia to typical symptoms was 0.22 ± 4.57 and 0.75 ± 6.77 days; the interval from onset of hyposmia and hypogeusia to admission was 6.06 ± 6.68 and 5.76 ± 7.68 days; and the duration of hyposmia and hypogeusia was 9.09 ± 5.74 and 7.12 ± 4.66 days, respectively. The viral load was high since symptoms onset, peaked within the first week, and then gradually declined.

CONCLUSIONS: The neurosensory dysfunction tends to occur in the early stage of COVID-19, and it could be used as a marker for early diagnosis of COVID-19.

PMID:32615326 | DOI:10.1016/j.ijid.2020.06.086

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