The taste of the pandemic—contemporary review on the current state of research on gustation in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Constantin A. Hintschich, Masha Y. Niv, Thomas Hummel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Subjectively perceived impairment of taste is a common and distinct symptom of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Large meta-analyses identified this symptom in approximately 50% of cases. However, this high prevalence is not supported by blinded and validated psychophysical gustatory testing, which showed a much lower prevalence in up to 26% of patients. This discrepancy may be due to misinterpretation of impaired retronasal olfaction as gustatory dysfunction. In addition, we hypothesized that COVID-19–associated hyposmia is involved in the decrease of gustatory function, as found for hyposmia of different origin. This indirect mechanism would be based on the central-nervous mutual amplification between the chemical senses, which fails in COVID-19–associated olfactory loss. However, further research is necessary on how severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) may directly impair the gustatory pathway as well as its subjective perception.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)210-216
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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