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Temporal patterns of nasal symptoms in patients with mild severity SARS-CoV-2 infection.

  • Author(s): Raad, Richard A;
  • Ganti, Ashwin;
  • Goshtasbi, Khodayar;
  • Lehrich, Brandon M;
  • Papagiannopoulos, Peter;
  • LoSavio, Phillip;
  • Mahdavinia, Mahboobeh;
  • Kuan, Edward C;
  • Batra, Pete S;
  • Tajudeen, Bobby A
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

No study to date has analyzed the progression of sinonasal symptoms over time in COVID-19 patients. The purpose of this study is to analyze the progression of sinonasal symptoms and risk factors for olfactory dysfunction in the mild severity COVID-19 patient.

Methods

An internet survey was used to assess sinonasal symptoms in patients with COVID-19. Changes in rhinologic domain and symptom-specific Sinonasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) scores were compared at five time points: two weeks before diagnosis, at diagnosis, two weeks after diagnosis, four weeks after diagnosis, and six months after diagnosis.

Results

521 responses were collected. Rhinologic domain SNOT-22 scores increased significantly (p < 0.001) to 8.94 at the time of diagnosis, remained elevated two weeks post-diagnosis (5.14, p = 0.004), and decreased significantly four weeks post-diagnosis (3.14, p = 0.004). Smell-specific SNOT-22 scores peaked at the time of diagnosis (2.05, p < 0.001), remained elevated two weeks after diagnosis (1.19, p < 0.001), and returned to baseline four weeks post-diagnosis (0.64, p > 0.999). Taste-specific SNOT-22 scores also peaked at diagnosis (2.06, p < 0.001), remained elevated two weeks after diagnosis (1.19, p < 0.001), and returned to baseline four weeks after diagnosis (0.71, p > 0.999). There were no significant differences in sense of smell or taste between 1-month and 6-month timepoints.

Conclusion

Sinonasal symptoms, particularly loss of smell and taste, may be important presenting symptoms in the mild severity COVID-19 patient. Our findings support incorporating these symptoms into screening protocols.

Level of evidence

4.

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