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.