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April 1997

Topical Corticosteroid Treatment of Anosmia Associated With Nasal and Sinus Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Dr Mott), Surgery (Drs Lafreniere and Leonard), and Biostructure and Function, School of Dental Medicine (Drs Gent and Frank), University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington; and Department of Surgery, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla (Dr Cain).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(4):367-372. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900040009001

Objective:  To establish the efficacy of topical corticosteroid nasal spray treatment of severe olfactory loss associated with severe nasal and sinus disease.

Design:  Efficacy before and after open-label trial of topical corticosteroid nasal spray used exclusively in the headdown-forward position.

Setting:  Taste and smell clinic of a university teaching hospital and research facility.

Patients:  Taste and smell clinic patients with anosmia or severe hyposmia associated with paranasal sinus disease and nasal polyposis including 39 of 45 patients recruited from 1988 to 1994 who completed the topical corticosteroid treatment course and returned for subsequent testing.

Intervention:  At least 8 weeks of treatment with flunisolide (Nasalide), 2 sprays in each nostril twice a day, with concurrent antibiotic treatment of any bacterial infection.

Main Outcome Measures:  Subjective olfactory symptoms, objective olfactory function tests, and otolaryngological evaluation (including endoscopic examination).

Results:  Olfactory scores significantly improved following treatment (P<.001); signs of nasal and sinus disease significantly decreased (P<.001); and 26 (66%) of the patients reported a subjective improvement in their sense of smell.

Conclusion:  Topical corticosteroid nasal spray administered in a head-down-forward position is an effective treatment of severe olfactory loss associated with severe nasal and sinus disease.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:367-372

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