Taste disorders
S. Collet*, Ph. Rombaux**, P. Eloy* and B. Bertrand*
*Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Cliniques Universitaires de Mont-Godinne, Yvoir; **Department of Otorhinnolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc, Brussels
Taste; taste disorders; dysgeusiae; guidelines
71 - 79
Taste disorders. The guidelines presented in this review relate exclusively to disorders of the physiological sensation of taste i.e. the disorders of the perception of the four basic tastes: sweet, salt, sour and bitter. Despite the low prevalence of dysgeusia and the difficulty of making a precise diagnosis of the aetiologies, a precise and complete evaluation of the problem is important because of the significant impact on patients’ nutrition and quality of life. These guidelines also propose include recommendations for good practice based on a review of the relevant literature using Medline. It should be kept in mind that: 1. From a diagnostic point of view, an elaborate anamnesis, including drug intake and nutritional elements and a detailed clinical examination, are very often adequate to elucidate the problem. Gustometry objectivates the complaint and localises the site of the defect. Complementary investigations should be determined on the basis of the diagnostic hypothesis: cultures, sialometry and salivary biopsy, or imaging to investigate lesions in the taste pathways or in the central nervous system and blood. 2. From a therapeutic point of view, the treatment should be confined to the aetiology as much as possible. If this is not possible, the administration of zinc gluconate is recommended because it can significantly improve the gustatory function. In all cases, the help of a dietician is recommended.
Suppl. 6, 2007

Taste disorders