Olfactory and Gustatory Dysfunction in 2019 Novel Coronavirus: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta‑analysis

Marzieh Esmaeili, Fatemeh Abdi, Gita Shafiee, Hamid Asayesh, Zahra Esmaeili Abdar, Fereshteh Baygi, Mostafa Qorbani


Background: Evidence showed that partial or complete loss of smell and taste might be a possible primary symptom of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID‑19). This study aimed to systematically review and pool all available evidence on the olfactory and gustatory dysfunction in COVID‑19 patients. Methods: In this systematic review, a comprehensive search was carried out systematically through e‑databases including PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and Web of Science (WoS); that was limited to English‑language studies published from 2019 up to 6th May 2020. Afterward, all studies reported the taste and smell dysfunction in the COVID‑19 patients were included. The quality of the studies was assessed by the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT). The pooled prevalence of olfactory and gustatory dysfunction was estimated using the random effects meta‑analysis method. Results: Among 28 eligible included studies in this systematic review, finally, 22 studies met the eligibility criteria and were included in the meta‑analysis. According to the random effect meta‑analysis, the global pooled prevalence (95% confidence interval) of any olfactory dysfunction, anosmia, and hyposmia was 55% (40%‑70%), 40% (22%‑57%), and 40% (20%‑61%) respectively. The pooled estimated prevalence of any gustatory dysfunction, ageusia, and dysgeusia was 41% (23%‑59%), 31% (3%‑59%), and 34% (19%‑48%) respectively. Conclusions: Olfactory and gustatory dysfunction is prevalent among COVID‑19 patients. Therefore, olfactory and gustatory dysfunction seems to be part of important symptoms and notify for the diagnosis of COVID‑19, especially in the early phase of the infection.


Ageusia; anosmia; COVID‑19; sensation disorder;taste; smell impairment

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