J Rhinol.  2021 Jul;28(2):73-80. 10.18787/jr.2020.00346.

Contemporary Review of Olfactory Dysfunction in COVID-19

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Guro Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an extreme threat to international health care, resulting in more than two million deaths. Data reveal that olfactory disorder is a characteristic symptom of COVID-19 and has unique clinical manifestations. The olfactory dysfunction induced by COVID-19 has sudden onset, short duration, and rapid recovery, with anosmia often the only symptom. Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) affects the human body by binding to angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) of the olfactory epithelium. However, the etiology of COVID-19-induced olfactory dysfunction is unclear. In many countries, vaccines for COVID-19 in human are beginning to be administered. Conventional conservative treatments are common for olfactory disorders caused by COVID-19. Rhinologists should be aware of olfactory dysfunction to avoid delayed diagnosis of COVID-19. The article reviews the latest scientific evidence of anosmia in COVID-19.


Olfaction disordersㆍCOVID-19ㆍCoronavirusㆍPhysiopathologyㆍEtiology; 후각장애·COVID-19·코로나바이러스·병태생리학·원인
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