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September 1996

Spontaneous Resolution of Dysgeusia

Author Affiliations

From the Smell and Taste Center, Department of Otorhinolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122(9):961-963. doi:10.1001/archotol.1996.01890210037009

Background:  Dysgeusia, distortion of taste perception, is a debilitating disorder that affects thousands of Americans. Presently, most forms of dysgeusia are considered to be untreatable, and no data are available for counseling patients on the probability of recovery.

Objective:  To examine the probability of resolution of symptoms among patients with dysgeusia who were evaluated at the University of Pennsylvania Smell and Taste Center, Philadelphia, from January 1989 to December 1994.

Design:  In this retrospective study, 117 patients with primary complaints of dysgeusia were initially identified from a population of 429 patients with smell and taste disorders who were seen during this period.

Participants:  Forty-eight patients agreed to participate. Each patient completed a telephone interview and a questionnaire that contained a dysgeusia severity rating scale, medical health questions, and the Beck Depression Inventory.

Results:  Two thirds of the patients experienced spontaneous resolution of the dysgeusia, with the average duration being 10 months. A distinct relationship between the resolution of dysgeusia and depression was identified.

Conclusion:  These findings, along with the evidence that some dysgeusias are treatable, bode well for a disorder that was heretofore considered by many physicians as unrelenting.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122:961-963

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