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January 1989

Caution Urged in Treating 'Steroid-Dependent Anosmia'

Author Affiliations

Farmington, Conn

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115(1):109-110. doi:10.1001/archotol.1989.01860250111040

To the Editor.—Anosmia secondary to an active process in the nose and/or sinuses is the most treatable form of smell dysfunction. At the University of Connecticut's (Farmington) Taste and Smell Center, management of these disorders is frequently frustrated by the chronicity of these problems. Surgery or limited courses of medications fail to yield enduring positive results. Jafek and colleagues1 have provided a report of two patients with anosmia, nasal polyposis, and pansinusitis. Surgery afforded only short-term improvement in olfactory function. Various medical therapies instituted during periods of anosmia were ineffective with the exception of temporary improvement with oral corticosteroid therapy in one case. When low-dose, oral corticosteroid therapy was instituted after surgery, however, the postoperative improvement in smell functioning was maintained even one and two years postoperatively. Jafek et al have classified these patients as having "steroid-dependent anosmia." They posed the following question: "Why was the combined treatment

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