Skip to main content

Does hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia affect olfactory or gustatory function?

Buy Article:

$49.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)



The olfactory and gustatory functions of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) patients have not been documented by validated tests. Disorders of the nasal/oral cavity may interfere with the olfactory and gustatory functions. Fifty-four HHT patients were investigated by smell/taste tests.


HHT patients provided subjective ratings in areas such as ability to perceive smell/taste. “Sniffin' Sticks” were used for smell tests, and taste strips were used for taste tests.


HHT patients rated their subjective olfactory and gustatory function on a visual analog scale from 0 (none) to 100 (high) as 65.3 ± 27.7 and 68.1 ± 25.1, respectively. Comparison of smell test results of HHT patients with normative data of sex- and age-matched controls from Hummel et al. revealed that HHT patients had lower threshold values, whereas there was no difference in identification and discrimination values. HHT patients were hyposmic. In the case of taste qualities, all values (sweet, sour, salty, and bitter) in HHT patients were lower than those in normative data of Mueller et al. However, HHT patients were not hypogeusic. The duration of disease, extranasal manifestation, and treatments did not significantly correlate with smell/taste test values.


Compared with healthy people, HHT patients exhibit reduced olfactory and gustatory function; however, HHT patients are hyposmic and not hypogeusic. This chemosensory deficit may highlight an early sign of disease and has no correlation with disease severity. HHT patients should be informed about these potential disease manifestations, thus enabling them to improve their quality of life.

Keywords: Gustatory function; Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome; Sniffin' Sticks taste strips; hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia; hypogeusia; hyposmia; olfactory function; patient information; quality of life

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Philipps–University, Marburg, Germany

Publication date: November 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy, is a peer reviewed, scientific publication committed to expanding knowledge and publishing the best clinical and basic research within the fields of Rhinology & Allergy. Its focus is to publish information which contributes to improved quality of care for patients with nasal and sinus disorders. Its primary readership consists of otolaryngologists, allergists, and plastic surgeons. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    Previously published as American Journal of Rhinology, the journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Reprint Requests
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more