Taste impairment in chronic rhinosinusitis

Florence Othieno, Rodney J. Schlosser, Nicholas R. Rowan, Kristina A. Storck, Jose L. Mattos, Timothy L. Smith, Zachary M. Soler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Though many patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) describe disturbances in smell and taste, there have been no studies specifically assessing taste impairment in CRS. This study sought to objectively assess taste dysfunction in CRS patients and determine whether taste impairment correlates with olfactory dysfunction. Additionally, this investigation sought to determine the impact of taste dysfunction on quality of life (QOL) in CRS and identify the clinical factors that influence taste. Methods: Sixty-eight CRS patients were prospectively enrolled and completed several QOL surveys in relation to taste, smell, overall sinus-specific QOL, and depression. Validated taste strips were used to determine gustatory dysfunction pertaining to sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Olfactory testing was assessed using the Sniffin’ Sticks Test while both Lund-Kennedy and Olfactory Cleft Endoscopy Scoring (OCES) systems were used for endoscopic evaluation. Results: The overall prevalence of dysgeusia was 28%, with scores significantly lower for sour compared to other subgroups. No correlation was observed between taste scores and objective olfactory metrics including olfaction tests and OCES. Taste scores were better in younger patients (r = 0.28, p = 0.02), female patients (p = 0.004), and never smokers compared to former smokers (p = 0.01). Taste scores did not correlate with patient-reported outcome measures or CRS disease severity metrics. Conclusion: Taste dysfunction is a common complaint in CRS. This cohort shows prevalence of gustatory loss to be about 28% using ideal normative values. This dysfunction correlated with male gender, smoking history, and older age. Taste dysfunction did not correlate with measured olfactory outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-789
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • chronic rhinosinusitis
  • olfaction disorders
  • quality of life
  • taste
  • taste perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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