Clinical and Radiological Evaluations of COVID-19 Patients With Anosmia: Preliminary Report

Laryngoscope. 2020 Nov;130(11):2526-2531. doi: 10.1002/lary.28993. Epub 2020 Aug 11.


Objectives/hypothesis: To investigate clinical and radiological features of olfactory clefts of patients with mild coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Study design: Prospective non controlled study.

Methods: Sixteen COVID-19 patients were recruited. The epidemiological and clinical data were extracted. Nasal complaints were assessed through the 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test. Patients underwent psychophysical olfactory testing, olfactory cleft examination, and computed tomography (CT) scans.

Results: Sixteen anosmic patients were included. The mean Sniffin' Sticks score was 4.6 ± 1.7. The majority of patients had no endoscopical abnormality, with a mean olfactory cleft endoscopy score of 0.6 ± 0.9. The olfactory clefts were opacified in three patients on the CT scan. The mean radiological olfactory cleft score was 0.7 ± 0.8. There were no significant correlations between clinical, radiological, and psychophysical olfactory testing.

Conclusions: The olfactory cleft of anosmic COVID-19 patients is free regarding endoscopic examination and imaging. The anosmia etiology is not related to edema of the olfactory cleft.

Level of evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 130:2526-2531, 2020.

Keywords: COVID-19; anosmia; computed tomography scan; coronavirus; evaluation; imaging; olfaction; olfactory; smell; taste.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anosmia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Anosmia / pathology
  • Anosmia / virology
  • COVID-19 / complications
  • COVID-19 / diagnostic imaging*
  • COVID-19 / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olfaction Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Olfaction Disorders / pathology
  • Olfaction Disorders / virology
  • Prospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*