Objective: To investigate the prevalence and recovery of olfactory dysfunction (OD) in COVID-19 patients 24 months after the infection. Methods: From 22 March 2020 to 5 June 2022, 251 COVID-19 patients were followed in three European medical centres. Olfactory function was assessed with subjective patient-reported outcome questionnaires and odour identification tests at baseline, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months postinfection. The predictive values of epidemiological and clinical data were investigated with multivariate analysis. Results: One hundred and seventy-one patients completed the evaluations. The odour identification test revealed that 123 patients (50.8%) had OD at baseline. The prevalence of persistent psychophysical abnormalities at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months post-COVID-19 was 24.2%, 17.9%, 5.8% and 2.9%, respectively (p = 0.001). Parosmia occurred in 40 patients (23.4%) and lasted 60 ± 119 days. At 2 years, 51 patients (29.8%) self reported that their olfaction was unnormalised. Older patients had better odour identification evaluations at baseline (p < 0.001) but those with OD reported lower odour identification test scores at the end of the follow-up. Parosmia occurred more frequently in young patients. The olfactory training was significantly associated with higher values of Sniffin’ Sticks tests at 18 months postinfection (rs = 0.678; p < 0.001). Conclusion: Two years post-COVID-19, 29.8% of patients reported persistent OD, but only 2.9% had abnormal identification psychophysical evaluations.
Prevalence and 24-month recovery of olfactory dysfunction in COVID-19 patients: A multicentre prospective study / Lechien, J. R.; Vaira, L. A.; Saussez, S.. - In: JOURNAL OF INTERNAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 0954-6820. - (2022). [10.1111/joim.13564]