Brain Behav. 2020 Sep 16:e01839. doi: 10.1002/brb3.1839. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: Olfactory and taste dysfunction (OTD) is a potential neurological manifestation of coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19). We aimed to investigate the diagnostic value of symptoms of anosmia and dysgeusia for COVID-19.
METHODS: A comprehensive electronic search was conducted using PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane database, and Google Scholar from 1 June 2020 to 12 June 2020. All studies reporting symptoms of anosmia and dysgeusia in COVID-19-positive patients were included. A total of 23 studies were included in the systematic review.
RESULTS: Symptoms of anosmia and dysgeusia were frequently reported by COVID-19-positive patients. Symptoms were more common in females and in younger patients. There was no direct association between the severity of COVID-19 and the presence of symptoms. However, some evidence was found for a longer duration of these symptoms and increased severity of COVID-19 infection in young patients.
CONCLUSION: OTD is commonly reported by COVID-19 patients. Due to limited literature on the association between OTD and COVID-19, it is currently not possible to conclude that these symptoms alone can be used to diagnose COVID-19. However, the presence of OTD can potentially be used as a screening tool for COVID-19 especially in young and female patients. Further research is required to establish the true diagnostic value of these symptoms and efficacy as screening tools for COVID-19 patients.