Olfactory dysfunction in spondyloarthritis



Spondyloarthritis (SpA) is a group of disorders characterized by inflammatory arthritis including ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis and arthritis-related inflammatory bowel diseases. Recently it has been shown that arthritic disorders are accompanied by olfactory dysfunction. We aimed to specifically investigate the association between spondyloarthritis and olfactory impairment.

Materials and methods

Fifty individuals with SpA and 50 healthy volunteers were included in the study. Olfactory function was evaluated using the “Sniffin’ Sticks” test battery. Additionally, effects of age, gender, activity of the disease, HLA-B27 status, medications, and the duration of disease were included in the analysis.


SpA patients showed significantly lower scores for odor threshold (T), odor discrimination (D) and odor identification (I) than healthy controls (all p < 0.001). In addition, olfactory loss was negatively correlated with the presence of HLA-B27 (Human Leukocyte Antigen), but not with the current activity of the disease (Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Activity Index). Neither medication nor duration of the disease had a significant effect on the results.


SpA is associated with olfactory loss. Future studies will show whether olfactory function relates to the prognosis of SpA.

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Correspondence to Thomas Hummel.

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Yalcinkaya, E., Basaran, M.M., Erdem, H. et al. Olfactory dysfunction in spondyloarthritis. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 276, 1241–1245 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00405-019-05364-1

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  • Smell
  • Hyponosmia
  • Inflammation
  • Spondyloarthritis
  • Bechterew