Evaluation of the Olfactory Function With the “Sniffin’ Sticks” Test After Endoscopic Transsphenoidal Pituitary Surgery

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the olfactory function of patients who had undergone endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary surgery. In this prospective study, the “Sniffin’ Sticks” test was performed between June 2016 and April 2017 at Izmir Katip Celebi University Ataturk Training and Research Hospital. Thirty patients who were scheduled to undergo endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary surgery were evaluated preoperatively and 8 weeks postoperatively using the Sniffin’ Sticks test battery for olfactory function, odor threshold, smell discrimination, and odor identification. The patients were evaluated preoperatively by an otolaryngologist. The patients’ demographic data and olfactory functions were analyzed with a t test and Wilcoxon-labeled sequential test. The study group comprised 14 women (46.7%) and 16 men (53.3%) patients. The mean age of the patients was 37.50 ± 9.43 years (range: 16–53 years). We found a significant difference in the preoperative and postoperative values of the odor recognition test (P = 0.017); however, there was no significant difference between the preoperative and postoperative odor threshold values (P = 0.172) and odor discrimination values (P = 0.624). The threshold discrimination identification test scores were not significant (P = 0.110). The olfactory function of patients who were normosmic preoperatively was not affected postoperatively. This study shows that the endoscopic transsphenoidal technique for pituitary surgery without nasal flap has no negative effect on the olfactory function.

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