[Open Forum Infectious Diseases] Olfactory dysfunction in COVID-19 patients: observational cohort study and systematic review

Tom Wai-Hin Chung, Siddharth Sridhar, Anna Jinxia Zhang, Kwok-Hung Chan, Hang-Long Li, Fergus Kai-Chuen Wong, Ming-Yen Ng, Raymond King-Yin Tsang, Andrew Chak-Yiu Lee, Zhimeng Fan, Ronnie Siu-Lun Ho, Shiobhon Yiu Luk, Wai-Kuen Kan, Sonia Hiu-Yin Lam, Alan Ka-Lun Wu, Sau-Man Leung, Wai-Ming Chan, Pauline Yeung Ng, Kelvin Kai-Wang To, Vincent Chi-Chung Cheng, Kwok-Cheung Lung, Ivan Fan-Ngai Hung, Kwok-Yung Yuen

05 June, 2020


  • Among COVID-19 patients, 12 out of 18 (67%) reported olfactory symptoms and OD was confirmed in 6 patients by BTT and SIT.
  • OD is common in COVID-19 and can be the only symptom in some cases.
  • Sinusitis and olfactory cleft obstruction were absent in most patients.
  • OD persisted in two patients despite clinical recovery.
  • Mucosal infiltration by CD68+ macrophages expressing SARS-CoV-2 viral antigen may contribute to COVID-19-related OD.

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