Background: From the initial stages of the pandemic in early 2020, COVID-19-related olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions have been widely reported and are emerging as one of the most frequent long-term sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, data regarding the long-term recovery of the sense of smell and taste are lacking. This study aimed to characterize the evolution up to one year after the diagnosis of self-reported olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions in COVID-19 cases. Methods: Based on the data of the active surveillance platform of the Apulia region, Italy, we selected the residents of Foggia district who were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 from March 1st to June 16th, 2020, and home-quarantined with paucisymptomatic-to-mild clinical presentation. Self-reported olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions were recorded at baseline through a survey of dichotomous questions. The evolution of these symptoms at approximately one year was prospectively assessed via telephone by the validated sino-nasal outcome test 22 (SNOT-22, Italian version). Results: Among the 1,175 COVID-19 cases notified in the Foggia district during the first epidemic wave, 488 had paucisymptomatic-to-mild clinical presentation. Of these, 41.2% (n = 201, 95% confidence interval [CI] 36.8–45.7%) reported at least one sensory dysfunction. A total of 178 to 201 (88.5%) patients agreed to participate in the follow-up survey. According to the SNOT-22 results, the persistence of a sensory dysfunction was observed in the 29.8% (n = 53, 95% CI 23.2–37.1%) of them. Particularly, loss of smell persisted in 25.8% (n = 46, 95% CI 19.6–32.9%), loss of taste in 21.3% (n = 38, 95% CI 15.6–28.1%), loss of both in 17.4% (n = 31, 95% CI 12.2–23.8%) of participants in the follow-up. The rates of full recovery increased over time: from 59% at 30 days to 71.9% at 90 days for the sense of smell; from 61.3% at 30 days to 74.7% at 90 days for the sense of taste. Conclusions: The persistence of COVID-19-related olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions up to 12 months after the disease onset in a noteworthy proportion (approximately 3 out of 10) of patients with paucisymptomatic-to-mild clinical presentation deserves further investigations due to its possible pathophysiological implications and impact on the quality of life.

Self-reported olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions in COVID-19 patients: a 1-year follow-up study in Foggia district, Italy

Fortunato F.;Martinelli D.;Milazzo M.;Farina U.;De Nittis R.;Ascatigno L.;Lopalco P. L.;Prato R.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background: From the initial stages of the pandemic in early 2020, COVID-19-related olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions have been widely reported and are emerging as one of the most frequent long-term sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, data regarding the long-term recovery of the sense of smell and taste are lacking. This study aimed to characterize the evolution up to one year after the diagnosis of self-reported olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions in COVID-19 cases. Methods: Based on the data of the active surveillance platform of the Apulia region, Italy, we selected the residents of Foggia district who were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 from March 1st to June 16th, 2020, and home-quarantined with paucisymptomatic-to-mild clinical presentation. Self-reported olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions were recorded at baseline through a survey of dichotomous questions. The evolution of these symptoms at approximately one year was prospectively assessed via telephone by the validated sino-nasal outcome test 22 (SNOT-22, Italian version). Results: Among the 1,175 COVID-19 cases notified in the Foggia district during the first epidemic wave, 488 had paucisymptomatic-to-mild clinical presentation. Of these, 41.2% (n = 201, 95% confidence interval [CI] 36.8–45.7%) reported at least one sensory dysfunction. A total of 178 to 201 (88.5%) patients agreed to participate in the follow-up survey. According to the SNOT-22 results, the persistence of a sensory dysfunction was observed in the 29.8% (n = 53, 95% CI 23.2–37.1%) of them. Particularly, loss of smell persisted in 25.8% (n = 46, 95% CI 19.6–32.9%), loss of taste in 21.3% (n = 38, 95% CI 15.6–28.1%), loss of both in 17.4% (n = 31, 95% CI 12.2–23.8%) of participants in the follow-up. The rates of full recovery increased over time: from 59% at 30 days to 71.9% at 90 days for the sense of smell; from 61.3% at 30 days to 74.7% at 90 days for the sense of taste. Conclusions: The persistence of COVID-19-related olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions up to 12 months after the disease onset in a noteworthy proportion (approximately 3 out of 10) of patients with paucisymptomatic-to-mild clinical presentation deserves further investigations due to its possible pathophysiological implications and impact on the quality of life.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/414642
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