Smell and Taste Impairment After Total Laryngectomy
Aim of this observational study is the evaluation of olfactory and gustatory impairments in laryngectomized long-term survivors compared to control subjects. Correlation between smell and taste alterations, age, and previous adjuvant treatments in laryngectomees was investigated.Methods:
Fifty control subjects and 50 patients who underwent total laryngectomy for advanced laryngeal carcinoma were evaluated. All subjects underwent symptoms evaluation, oropharyngeal exam, endoscopic fiberoptic nasal examination, and Taste Strips and Sniffin’ Sticks tests.Results:
Hyposmia was reported by all laryngectomees and hypogeusia by 54% of patients. Sniffin’ Sticks and Taste Strips tests demonstrated a statistically significant difference between controls and laryngectomees regarding olfactory threshold, odor discrimination and identification, Threshold Discrimination Identification (TDI) score, and sour, salty, and gustatory Total Taste score (P < .05). Multivariate analysis for Total Taste score in laryngectomees showed a statistically significant correlation with aging, having an odds ratio of 0.127 for age ≥65 years, but not with TDI score, radiotherapy, and follow-up time, whereas multivariate analysis for TDI score demonstrated no correlation with radiotherapy, age, and follow-up time.Conclusions:
Total laryngectomy determines olfactory and gustatory impairments that should be taken into account in clinical practice. Relationships between sensorial alterations, aging, follow-up period, and adjuvant treatments should be further evaluated in prospective studies.