To characterize the self-reported olfactory and gustatory symptoms, olfactory function, and causes in parosmia.
Assessment of olfactory symptoms and function in patients with a chief complaint of parosmia.
A university hospital clinic and research facility.
Fifty-six consecutive patients presented to the ORL Clinic, European Hospital Georges Pompidou, with a chief complaint of parosmia between October 2001 and November 2003.
Main Outcome Measures
Subjective olfactory symptom analysis and olfactory function test results.
The mean duration of parosmia was 63.0 months. Forty patients (71.4%) reported associated hyposmia and 16 (28.6%) reported anosmia. Olfactory testing revealed moderate to severe olfactory loss in all patients. Quantitative and qualitative alterations occurred simultaneously in 32 patients (57.1%); parosmia onset occurred within 3 months after quantitative dysosmia in 19 patients (33.9%) and after 3 months in 5 patients (8.9%). The sensation of parosmia was always unpleasant. The main odorant triggers eliciting parosmia are described. The mean severity of flavor dysfunction of the population, evaluated using a 10-cm visual analog scale, was 6.4. Thirty-one patients (55.4%) viewed their olfactory alteration as severely affecting their quality of life. The main clinical association of parosmia was upper respiratory tract infection, found in 42.8% of the patients. Others clinical associations are described.
The series of patients with parosmia presented herein, the largest in the literature, permits a clinical description of this rare olfactory abnormality.