Clinical studies in COVID-related olfactory disorders: Review of an institutional experience

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To share a single institutional experience with clinical research on COVID-related olfactory dysfunction (OD). Data Source/Method: Narrative review of published original data and ongoing clinical trials on COVID-related OD at Washington University from 2020 to 2023. Results: There were three new diagnostic-/patient-reported outcome measures developed and tested. We report five clinical trials of interventions for COVID-related olfactory disorders: combined Visual-Olfactory Training (VOLT) with patient-preferred scents versus standard olfactory training (VOLT trial), oral gabapentin versus placebo (Gabapentin for the Relief of Acquired Chemosensory Experience trial), nasal theophylline irrigations versus placebo (Smell Changes and Efficacy of Nasal Theophylline trial), stellate ganglion block (single-arm), and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) versus lifestyle intervention (MBSR trial). Conclusions: Initial intervention trials for COVID-related OD have shown potential for improving subjective and objective olfactory outcomes. However, there remains no gold standard treatment that definitively outperforms placebo in controlled trials. Therefore, continued investigation of novel therapeutic strategies for COVID-related OD is necessary to maximize olfactory outcomes for affected patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Journal of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • chemosensory disorders
  • olfactory dysfunction


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical studies in COVID-related olfactory disorders: Review of an institutional experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this