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.
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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.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest and no disclosures relevant to the manuscript.
This study was performed in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments.
All patients gave consent prior to participation to the study.
This work was not supported by any funding.
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Cecchini, M.P., Cardobi, N., Sbarbati, A. et al. Post-traumatic taste disorders: a case series. J Neurol 265, 836–844 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00415-018-8776-0
- Anatomical correlation
- Head trauma