The effect of non-diabetic chronic renal failure on olfactory function

Eur Ann Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Dis. 2017 May;134(3):161-164. doi: 10.1016/j.anorl.2016.04.022. Epub 2016 Dec 14.


Objectives: In chronic renal failure (CRF), deterioration of glomerular filtration results in accumulation of metabolites in the body which affect all organs. This study was performed to investigate the olfactory functions, and determine if hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis improves olfactory function in non-diabetic CRF patients.

Materials and methods: The olfactory functions were analyzed in CRF patients not on a dialysis program and had a creatinine level≥2mg/dL, in CRF patients on hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, and in healthy controls. Diabetic patients were excluded since diabetes alone is a cause of olfactory dysfunction. The study group consisted of a total of 107 individuals including 38CRF patients on a hemodialysis program, 15 CRF patients on peritoneal dialysis, 30 patients with a creatinine level ≥ 2mg/dL without any need for dialysis, and 24 healthy controls with normal renal functions. Olfactory functions were analyzed with "Sniffin' sticks" test, and the groups were compared for the test results.

Results: All test parameters were impaired in patients with CRF. The median TDI scores of the patients with CRF and the healthy subjects were 24.75 (13-36) and 32.5 (27.75-37.75), respectively, with a statistically significant difference in between (P<0.001). The olfactory functions for the dialysis patients were better than those for the CRF patients not on a dialysis program (P=0.020).

Conclusion: Non-diabetic CRF affects olfactory functions negatively. Dialysis improves olfactory functions in those patients.

Keywords: Dialysis; Kidney failure; Olfaction disorders; Uremia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olfaction Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Olfaction Disorders / etiology*
  • Olfaction Disorders / therapy
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / methods
  • Reference Values
  • Renal Dialysis* / methods
  • Sensory Thresholds
  • Smell*
  • Turkey


  • Biomarkers
  • Creatinine