gms | German Medical Science

76th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

04.05. - 08.05.2005, Erfurt

Recovery of olfactory function following infections of upper respiratory tract

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author Johannes Frasnelli - HNO-Klinik Dresden
  • Antje Müller - HNO-Klinik Dresden
  • Iordanis Konstantinidis - HNO-Klinik Dresden
  • Jens Reden - HNO-Klinik Dresden
  • Thomas Hummel - HNO-Klinik Dresden

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. 76. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie e.V.. Erfurt, 04.-08.05.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05hno478

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2005

© 2005 Frasnelli et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Aim of the study was to investigate the outcome of olfactory function in patients with olfactory loss following infections of the upper respiratory tract (post-URTI). In this retrospective patient based study, a total of 262 patients (187 female, 75male; mean age 58 years) were included. Olfactory function was assessed using the “Sniffin’ Sticks” test battery. The mean interval between first and last visit was 14 months.

Comparing overall scores between last and first visit olfactory function improved in 32% of the patients. In 63% of the patients no change in olfactory function was observed. In addition, a negative correlation was found between age and recovery of olfactory function. In general, sex had no significant effect on recovery of smell function.

Over 30% of patients with post-URTI olfactory loss experience improvement during an observation period of approximately 1 year. Further, age, but not sex, plays a significant role in the recovery of olfactory function.