Journal of Neurology

, Volume 265, Issue 4, pp 836–844 | Cite as

Post-traumatic taste disorders: a case series

  • Maria Paola CecchiniEmail author
  • Nicolò Cardobi
  • Andrea Sbarbati
  • Salvatore Monaco
  • Michele Tinazzi
  • Stefano Tamburin
Original Communication


Since 1800s there are reports of post-traumatic anosmia, but few studies investigated post-traumatic gustatory deficit and adopted validated evaluation tests. Peripheral and/or central mechanisms may be involved in the genesis of post-traumatic gustatory dysfunction. Beyond a reduction/loss (hypogeusia/ageusia) of gustatory function following a trauma, qualitative taste changes (dysgeusia) may occur. Especially when persistent, taste deficits might be particularly relevant for patient’s quality of life and activities of daily life, but knowledge on this topic is limited. Fifty-three consecutive patients with previous head trauma were recruited. Every patient underwent a careful history taking and thorough olfactory and gustatory chemosensory testing by Sniffin’Sticks Extended test, Whole Mouth Test and Taste Strips Test. All patients had olfactory abnormalities (hyposmia: n = 10, functional anosmia: n = 43), while 10 of them (19%) showed taste deficits (dysgeusia: n = 3, dysgeusia with hypogeusia: n = 1, hypogeusia: n = 5, ageusia: n = 1). Here, we report clinical and neuroimaging data and detailed description of four meaningful cases representing central and peripheral injury patterns. Chemosensory evaluation might be useful to explore taste disorder, a still neglected and underestimated sequela of head trauma.


Anatomical correlation Anosmia Head trauma Olfaction Taste 



The authors would like to thank Dr Trotier and Dr Faurion for the helpful comments on the MRI findings of one patient. The authors would like to thank also Mr Giovanni Caloi for the anatomical drawing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest and no disclosures relevant to the manuscript.

Ethical standards

This study was performed in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments.

Informed consent

All patients gave consent prior to participation to the study.


This work was not supported by any funding.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Paola Cecchini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicolò Cardobi
    • 2
  • Andrea Sbarbati
    • 1
  • Salvatore Monaco
    • 3
  • Michele Tinazzi
    • 3
  • Stefano Tamburin
    • 3
  1. 1.Anatomy and Histology Section, Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, School of MedicineUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyPederzoli HospitalPeschiera del GardaItaly
  3. 3.Neurology Section, Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement SciencesUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly

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