gms | German Medical Science

81st Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

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

12.05. - 16.05.2010, Wiesbaden

Influence of aging on electrogustometry thresholds, shape and vascularisation of fungiform papillae – a study of a greek population with contact endoscopy and electrogustometry

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Pavlos Pavlidis - 2nd ENT Department of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Papageorgiou Hospital/Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Mannheim, Germany, Mannheim, Germany
  • author Haralampos Gouveris - Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital, Alexandroupoli, Greece
  • author Boris Stuck - Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital, Mannheim, Germany
  • author Antonia Anogeianaki - MD, Laboratory of Experimental Physiology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Medical School, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • author Dimitrios Koutsonikolas - Laboratory of Experimental Physiology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Medical School, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • author Georgios Anogiannakis - Laboratory of Experimental Physiology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Medical School, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • author Georgios Kekes - 2nd ENT Department of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Papageorgiou Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. 81st Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. Wiesbaden, 12.-16.05.2010. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2010. Doc10hno100

DOI: 10.3205/10hno100, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-10hno1004

Published: July 6, 2010

© 2010 Pavlidis et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.en). You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Outline

Text

Introduction: Physiological functions deteriorate with age in humans. The causes of age-related gustatory disturbance vary. The most frequent causes are believed to be associated with abnormalities in structure or function of the taste buds. The relative lack of data on age-related changes in electrogustometric thresholds (EGM) and in shape and vascularisation of the fungiform papillae (FP) was the motivation for this study.

Materials and methods: Non-smoking individuals (n=156, 74 males, 82 females, age range 10-70 years) who were free of disorders affecting gustatory function were studied. The subjects were classified in age groups (10–14, 15–19, 10–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69 and ≥69 years). The Rion TR-06 electrogustometer was used in this study. The morphology and density of the FP at the tip of the tongue were examined by Contact Endoscopy (CE). The form of the papillae and blood vessels were classified according to the classification of Negoro et al. Papillae forms were classified as Type 1, (egg-shaped or long-ellipse type with no surface thickness), Type 2 (slightly thicker surface compared to type 1), Type 3 (thick and irregular surface) and Type 4 (flat and atrophic surface). The classification of blood vessels was Type A (clear loop and wooden branch shape), Type B (unclear loop and wooden branch shape), Type C (elongated blood vessels), Type D (granular shape or dotted shape) and Type E (unclear blood vessels).

Results: The thresholds (recorded in decibels-dB) at each site followed relatively normal distribution statistically. Thresholds in the area supplied by the chorda tympani were significantly higher for both men and women ≥60 years of age. In the soft-palatine area the thresholds were significantly higher for men aged 20–29 years and ≥60 years than those of the other groups. In women older than 50 years, all thresholds were significantly higher (compared to the younger). Changes in shape and vascularisation of FP were also detected by means of CE. Changes in FP density were present in men aged ≥50 years and women aged ≥60 years.. Statistically significant differences in bothshapeand vascularisation between the two sexes were not detected, except in females aged 10–15 (p=0.043) and 20–29 years (p=0.048).

Conclusions: In this study investigation of possible changes in EGM thresholds in a European population was attempted. Thresholds measured by EGM increased significantly after the age of 60 years. The density of FP remained stable in men aged <50 years and women aged <60 years and was reduced in older individuals, in accordance with results of similar studies in animal models. The combined use of EGM and CE may provide useful data about gustatory physiology in humans.


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