Can symptoms of anosmia and dysgeusia be diagnostic for COVID-19?

Zahra, Syeda Anum, Iddawela, Sashini, Pillai, Kiran, Choudhury, Rozina Yasmin and Harky, Amer (2020) Can symptoms of anosmia and dysgeusia be diagnostic for COVID-19? Brain and behavior. e01839. ISSN 2162-3279.

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Olfactory and taste dysfunction (OTD) is a potential neurological manifestation of coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19). We aimed to investigate the diagnostic value of symptoms of anosmia and dysgeusia for COVID-19.


A comprehensive electronic search was conducted using PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane database, and Google Scholar from 1 June 2020 to 12 June 2020. All studies reporting symptoms of anosmia and dysgeusia in COVID-19-positive patients were included. A total of 23 studies were included in the systematic review.


Symptoms of anosmia and dysgeusia were frequently reported by COVID-19-positive patients. Symptoms were more common in females and in younger patients. There was no direct association between the severity of COVID-19 and the presence of symptoms. However, some evidence was found for a longer duration of these symptoms and increased severity of COVID-19 infection in young patients.


OTD is commonly reported by COVID-19 patients. Due to limited literature on the association between OTD and COVID-19, it is currently not possible to conclude that these symptoms alone can be used to diagnose COVID-19. However, the presence of OTD can potentially be used as a screening tool for COVID-19 especially in young and female patients. Further research is required to establish the true diagnostic value of these symptoms and efficacy as screening tools for COVID-19 patients.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WF Respiratory system. Respiratory medicine
Divisions: Planned IP Care > Respiratory Medicine
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Depositing User: Mrs Caroline Tranter
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2020 13:24
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2020 13:24

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