Prognostic value of olfactory bulb volume measurement for recovery in postinfectious and posttraumatic olfactory loss

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Dec;147(6):1136-41. doi: 10.1177/0194599812459704. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Abstract

Objectives: Several prognostic factors influencing the recovery from olfactory dysfunction have been described. The aim of this study was to investigate whether olfactory bulb volume could be used as a new predictor of olfactory recovery in postinfectious and posttraumatic olfactory loss.

Study design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 4. Setting Tertiary university clinic, department of otolaryngology.

Subjects and methods: A cohort of 60 patients with postinfectious (n = 28) and posttraumatic olfactory loss (n = 32) was investigated. Assessment of olfactory function was performed using orthonasal (Sniffin' Sticks test) and retronasal psychophysical olfactory tests, at the time of the diagnosis (t1) and 15 months later (t2). All patients were examined on 3 tesla magnetic resonance imaging, and the olfactory bulbs volume was assessed using planimetric contouring at the time of the diagnosis (t1).

Results: Recovery rate was 25% in patients with posttraumatic olfactory loss and 36% in patients with postinfectious olfactory loss. There was a correlation between both orthonasal and retronasal olfactory testing and the initial measurement of the total olfactory bulb volume. In addition, we observed a significant correlation between changes in olfactory functions and initial measurement of the total olfactory bulb volume, with larger volumes relating to higher improvement of olfactory function. Finally, we found that none of the patients with a total olfactory bulb volume of 40 mm(3) or less exhibited recovery of olfactory function.

Conclusion: Olfactory bulb volume seems to be a predictor of olfactory recovery in patients with postinfectious and posttraumatic olfactory loss.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olfaction Disorders / diagnosis
  • Olfaction Disorders / etiology
  • Olfaction Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / pathology*
  • Organ Size
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychophysics
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / complications
  • Smell / physiology*
  • Young Adult