What is it about?

While it is well known that SARS-CoV-2 infection often determines reduction or complete loss of smell, little is known about the relationship between the viral involvement of the olfactory mucosa, responsible for odorant binding, and the disease course. This article reviews clinical and radiographic data of a group of hospital inpatients and relates the oedema that can be seen in the olfactory fossa in some patients with their disease course. Patients with olfactory mucosa involvement in this study tended to have longer hospital stays and a higher risk of invasive ventilation.

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Why is it important?

This is the first article shifting the attention from smell to olfactory pathways in SARS-CoV-2 infection, a radiologically identifiable sign which appears related to the disease course. Since olfactory pathway might represent a viral point of entry in the central nervous system, and given that viral neural invasion has been pointed out as a potential risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection, these data add significantly to what is currently known about the infection.


While smell reduction is an important symptom in COVID-19 patients, little is known on the role of olfactory pathways in this infection. This article represent an important addition to the literature and a potential further step towards a better understanding of the patho-physiological aspects of the infection.

Dr alberto maria saibene
Universita degli Studi di Milano

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Isolated olfactory cleft involvement in SARS-CoV-2 infection: prevalence and clinical correlates, European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, June 2020, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/s00405-020-06165-7.
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