Subjectively perceived impairment of taste is a common and distinct symptom of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Large meta-analyses identified this symptom in approximately 50% of cases. However, this high prevalence is not supported by blinded and validated psychophysical gustatory testing, which showed a much lower prevalence in up to 26% of patients. This discrepancy may be due to misinterpretation of impaired retronasal olfaction as gustatory dysfunction. In addition, we hypothesized that COVID-19–associated hyposmia is involved in the decrease of gustatory function, as found for hyposmia of different origin. This indirect mechanism would be based on the central-nervous mutual amplification between the chemical senses, which fails in COVID-19–associated olfactory loss. However, further research is necessary on how severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) may directly impair the gustatory pathway as well as its subjective perception.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Masha A. Niv and Thomas Hummel are both funded by ISF grant #1129/19 and EXU‐transcelerator B3 grant, TU Dresden.
© 2021 The Authors. International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy and American Rhinologic Society
© 2021 The Authors. International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy and American Rhinologic Society.
- Olfaction Disorders/epidemiology