The clinical snapshot by van der Brelie and colleagues requires a correction (1). Contrary to the authors’ explanation, the described case was not one of parosmia but of classic phantosmia. According to the current guideline from the specialty society for oto-rhino-laryngology (2), parosmia occurs only in the presence of a stimulus; it disappears when the nostrils are pinched together and is typically observed only weeks or months after viral injury as a sign of olfactory regeneration (3). The described case is likely to be one of olfactory sensation in the absence of a stimulus, which indicates the presence of phantosmia. In all experience the latter can occur before or a short while after the start of olfactory loss and is interpreted, for example, as dysfunction of olfactory sensory neurons or the olfactory bulb. A duration of seconds to hours is typical of phantosmia, and a common occurrence in associated with head trauma or viral infections. On the background of the valid international definition of qualitative olfactory dysfunction, the terminology used in the article is therefore misleading.
Prof. Dr. med. Antje Hähner
Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Hummel
Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Riechen und Schmecken
Klinik für HNO-Heilkunde
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that no conflict of interest exists.
The authors of the clinical snapshot declined the opportunity to reply.
|1.||von der Brelie L, Becker C, von der Brelie C: Parosmia as an early symptom of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2020; 117: 328 VOLLTEXT|
|2.||S2k -Leitlinie: Riech- und Schmeckstörungen: https://www.awmf.org/uploads/tx_szleitlinien/017-050l_S2k_Riech-und-Schmeckst%C3%B6rungen_2017-03.pdf (last accessed on 24 July 2020).|
|3.||Hummel T, Whitcroft KL, Andrews P, et al.: Position paper on olfactory dysfunction. Rhinol Suppl 2017; 54: 1–30 CrossRef CrossRef|