Objectives: Review three cases of unilateral gustatory disturbance due to central lesions caused by cerebrovascular disorders, describe clinical findings and the results of taste examinations, and discuss the central gustatory pathways in humans.
Study design: Retrospective review of three gustatory disturbance cases due to cerebrovascular disorders. Additional review of 12 cases with central gustatory disturbance that have been reported.
Methods: Central lesions of three cases were examined by magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scan. Electrogustometry and a filter paper disk assay using taste solutions were performed in these cases for each of the bilateral gustatory nerves.
Results: In one case of pontine infarct, gustatory disturbance ipsilateral to the lesion was found, and in one case of thalamic infarct and one case of internal capsular infarct, gustatory disturbance contralateral to the lesion was observed.
Conclusions: Fifteen cases of unilateral gustatory disturbance due to central lesions, including the present cases, have been reported to our knowledge. Examination of these cases strongly suggested that the central gustatory pathways in humans ascend ipsilaterally from the solitary nucleus of medulla oblongata to the pons, and from the pons, cross to a higher position in midbrain and reach the thalamus contralaterally.