Mechanisms of COVID-19-associated olfactory dysfunction.

Publication date: Apr 01, 2024

Olfactory dysfunction is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. In the first 2 years of the pandemic, it was frequently reported, although its incidence has significantly decreased with the emergence of the Omicron variant, which has since become the dominant viral strain. Nevertheless, many patients continue to suffer from persistent dysosmia and dysgeusia, making COVID-19-associated olfactory dysfunction an ongoing health concern. The proposed pathogenic mechanisms of COVID-19-associated olfactory dysfunction are complex and likely multifactorial. While evidence suggests that infection of sustentacular cells and associated mucosal inflammation may be the culprit of acute, transient smell loss, alterations in other components of the olfactory system (e. g., olfactory receptor neuron dysfunction, olfactory bulb injury and alterations in the olfactory cortex) may lead to persistent, long-term olfactory dysfunction. This review aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the epidemiology, clinical manifestations and current understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of COVID-19-associated olfactory dysfunction.

Concepts Keywords
Covid anosmia
Dysosmia COVID-19
Mucosal olfactory dysfunction
Viral smell loss


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH dysosmia
disease MESH infection
disease MESH inflammation

Original Article

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