Posttraumatic anosmia secondary to central nervous system injury

Am J Rhinol. 2008 Nov-Dec;22(6):606-7. doi: 10.2500/ajr.2008.22.3238.


Background: The presumed pathogenesis of posttraumatic anosmia is stretching or shearing of the olfactory nerves in a coup-contracoup head contusion. Direct injury to the brain is an alternate mechanism of injury. In this study we report a case where direct injury to the brain is the probable mechanism of injury.

Methods: A case report was performed.

Results: A 55-year-old man presented with loss of smell beginning 1 month after a closed head injury with loss of consciousness. The MRI showed posttraumatic scarring in the region of the olfactory bulbs.

Conclusion: This case suggests that central nervous system injury to the olfactory bulbs and tracts may be a mechanism of posttraumatic anosmia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olfaction Disorders / etiology*