Neurosensory dysfunction: a diagnostic marker of early COVID
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Early Diagnosis is key to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, some researchers have reported that patients with COVID-19 would suffer from neurosensory dysfunction, including loss of smell (hyposmia) and taste (hypogeusia). However, the exact onset time and the duration of hyposmia and hypogeusia are rare reported.

This study aimed to describe the neurosensory dysfunction, including hyposmia, hypogeusia and tinnitus, in patients with COVID-19.

Clinical characteristics and oropharyngeal swabs were obtained from 86 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized in Guangzhou Eighth People’s Hospital. Chronological analysis method was used to detailly clarify the neurosensory dysfunction. The cycle threshold (Ct) values were used to approximately indicate viral load.

Results:
-- Forth-four (51.2%) patients had neurosensory dysfunction: hyposmia (34, 39.5%), hypogeusia (33, 38.4%), and tinnitus (3, 3.5%).
-- Neurosensory dysfunction was significantly more common in patients under 40 years old or women. Hyposmia and hypogeusia coexisted in 23 patients.
-- The interval between onset of hyposmia and hypogeusia was 0.7±1.46 days. The interval from onset of hyposmia and hypogeusia to typical symptoms was 0.22±4.57 and 0.75±6.77 days; the interval from onset of hyposmia and hypogeusia to admission was 6.06±6.68 and 5.76±7.68 days; and the duration of hyposmia and hypogeusia was 9.09±5.74 and 7.12±4.66 days, respectively.
-- The viral load was high since symptoms onset, peaked within the first week, and then gradually declined.

Conclusively, The neurosensory dysfunction tends to occur in the early stage of COVID-19, and it could be used as a marker for early diagnosis of COVID-19.

Source: https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(20)30519-1/fulltext?rss=yes
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