Publication date: Sep 18, 2023
To determine whether subjects who have recovered from COVID-19 smell and taste disturbance perform similarly to their COVID-nacEFve baseline, on gold-standard smell and taste tests. Prospective cross-sectional study. University of Miami Department of Otolaryngology in Miami, FL between September 2021, and August 2022. Those previously COVID-19 positive composed the experimental group, those who reported being COVID-nacEFve composed the control group. Mean total score for the UPSIT Smell Test, and the Burghart Taste Strip test were the primary outcome measures. 70 adult subjects (35 former COVID-positive, 35 COVID-nacEFve) were enrolled, with 21 females and 14 males in each group. 87 % of all subjects were white and were almost distributed evenly between Hispanic and non-Hispanic. Mean UPSIT total score for the experimental group was 30. 6 (95 % CI 28. 9-32. 3), mean UPSIT total score for the control group was 31. 2 (95 % CI 29. 7-32. 8). Mean Burghart total score for the experimental group was 11. 3 (95 % CI 10. 6-12. 0), mean Burghart total score for the control group was 10. 7 (95 % CI 9. 7-11. 8). These showed a significant overlap of the 95 % CI of the mean total score between the control group and the experimental group, suggesting no significant difference between the two groups. These results suggest that COVID-19 patients who experience smell and taste disturbance and recover, regain sensory ability similar to their pre-COVID ability. Further study is needed to validate these findings, but the results are promising in the long-term recovery of COVID-19.