Association of Helicobacter pylori infection with olfactory function using smell identification screening test

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2017 Sep;274(9):3403-3405. doi: 10.1007/s00405-017-4656-y. Epub 2017 Jun 26.


The aim of the present study is to investigate the role of Helicobacter pylori in olfactory function. Thirty-six patients (mean age 38.5) aged between 18 and 55 years who were diagnosed with H. pylori by gastric biopsies and age- and sex-matched 30 healthy adults (mean age 33.6) were included in the study. All participants underwent a detailed ear-nose-throat examination including endoscopic examination of the nasal cavity and laryngeal area, and olfactory tests were performed using the Sniffin' Sticks, a 12-item screening test (Sniffin'Sticks; Burghart, Wedel, Germany) and odor scores were recorded. The mean odor score was 7.9 ± 1.7 (range 2-10) in the patient group and 10.3 ± 1.4 (range 6-12) in the control group. There were significant lower scores in the patient group compared to the control group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, it is apparent that there is an association of H. pylori infection with olfactory dysfunction. H. pylori infection should be considered as possible etiological factors in patients with olfactory dysfunction.

Keywords: Helicobacter pylori; Olfactory function; Sniffin’ sticks.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications*
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odorants*
  • Olfaction Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Olfaction Disorders / etiology*
  • Sensory Thresholds
  • Smell
  • Young Adult