Internal Medicine
Online ISSN : 1349-7235
Print ISSN : 0918-2918
ISSN-L : 0918-2918
Discriminatory Value of Self-reported Olfactory Dysfunction in the Prediction of Coronavirus Disease 2019
Tetsuya AkaishiShigeki KushimotoYukio KatoriShigeo KureKaoru IgarashiMotoo FujitaShin TakayamaMichiaki AbeAkiko KikuchiJunichi TanakaYoshiko AbeHiroyuki ImaiYohei InabaYoko Iwamatsu-KobayashiTakashi NishiokaKo OnoderaTadashi Ishii
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2021 Volume 60 Issue 18 Pages 2905-2910


Objective Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), remains the world's largest public health concern in 2021. A history of close contact with infectious patients is a factor that predicts a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result. Meanwhile, the precise predictive value of symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 has not been fully elucidated. This study aimed to clarify the predictive and discriminatory value of each clinical symptom suggestive of COVID-19.

Methods This study enrolled participants who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction using a nasopharyngeal swab between November 2020 and January 2021. All enrolled patients were evaluated for data regarding the presence and closeness of contact with infectious patients and comprehensive clinical features (i.e., fever, cough, dyspnea, fatigue, dysosmia, and dysgeusia).

Results Among the 1,744 tested participants, 144 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. In the test-positive group, self-reported cough, fatigue, dysosmia, and dysgeusia were significant predictors of COVID-19, independent from a history of close contact. In particular, the presence of dysosmia was the strongest predictor of COVID-19 in both univariate and multivariate analyses. Among the 42 patients with self-reported dysosmia, 25 (59.5%) were SARS-CoV-2 test-positive. Self-reported dysosmia was reported by 25 (17.4%) of the 144 patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and 15 (60.0%) of the 25 COVID-19 patients with dysosmia had accompanying dysgeusia.

Conclusion The presence of dysosmia was reported by 10-25% of patients with COVID-19, and is a significant predictor of COVID-19 infection, independent from a history of close contact.

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© 2021 by The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine
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