Preliminary Estimation of the Prevalence of Chemotherapy-Induced Dysgeusia in Japanese Patients With Cancer

BMC Palliat Care. 2013 Oct 29;12(1):38. doi: 10.1186/1472-684X-12-38.

Abstract

Background: Although dysgeusia is a common adverse event in chemotherapy patients; it has not been evaluated using objective methods, and its prevalence and frequency have not been quantified.

Methods: Salt-impregnated taste strips were used to objectively assess dysgeusia in patients receiving chemotherapy at Akita University (n = 38) and those off chemotherapy (n = 9). Participant characteristics, and ongoing and previous chemotherapies were evaluated, and their associations with dysgeusia analyzed.

Results: Dysgeusia developed in 38.8% (14/38) of chemotherapy patients, and was most prevalent in patients receiving 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) or its oral analogs (48.1%, 13/27). Particularly, dysgeusia developed in 55.6% (10/18) of patients receiving oral 5-FU analogs; however, prevalence in patients receiving and off chemotherapy was not significantly different. Patients aged ≥70 years also tended to experience dysgeusia (75.0%, 6/8).

Conclusions: Association with dysgeusia may be higher for some chemotherapeutic drugs. Dysgeusia should be routinely assessed in chemotherapy patients with objective methods such as paper strips; interventions for its prevention may be required.