In stapes surgery, the chorda may be stretched or cut to improve visualization of the footplate. There have been many instances of subjective and qualitative taste changes postoperatively. By means of a modified electronic gustometer, we compared changes in taste threshold before and after surgery and related them to reports of trauma to the nerve.
Recent texts describe as many as 5 alternate pathways for taste impulses from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue.1 While taste has been related to the trigeminal nerve, Cushing's conclusions that all of the taste fibers from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue travel in the chorda seem most acceptable (Fig. 1).1-3 Other afferent fibers in the chorda carry pain and special somesthetic sensation.3 Efferent autonomic fibers innervate the submaxillary and sublingual salivary glands.
Chemical solutions diffuse rapidly through the mouth,1,4-8 making localized taste-testing difficult. Another objection to the use of
HARBERT F, WAGNER S, YOUNG IM. The Quantitative Measurement of Taste Function. Arch Otolaryngol. 1962;75(2):138–143. doi:10.1001/archotol.1962.00740040144012
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