Olfactory mucosal findings in patients with persistent anosmia after endoscopic sinus surgery

S. H. Lee, H. H. Lim, H. J. Park, H. M. Lee, J. O. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Sixty-three biopsy specimens were obtained from the olfactory region of 15 patients with persistent anosmia and 6 patients with normosmia after sinus surgery. Immunohistochemical examination of all specimens with microtubule-associated protein 5 (MAP5) antisera demonstrated olfactory epithelium in 11 of 18 specimens from normosmic patients and in 12 of 45 samples from anosmic patients. There was a significant difference in the proportion of specimens containing olfactory epithelium between the two groups of patients. In normosmic patients, most of the biopsy samples contained normal-appearing olfactory tissue. However, 2 main patterns of histologic findings were noted in the olfactory mucosa of anosmic patients. First, the olfactory receptor cells were remarkably decreased in number. Second, the orderly arrangement of cells characteristic of normal olfactory epithelium was lost, demonstrating a degenerative appearance. These data suggest that olfactory epithelium can be degenerated even in chronic sinusitis and thereafter extensively replaced with respiratory epithelium, resulting in increased sampling error. Moreover, an unimproved olfactory deficit after sinus surgery may be due to the abnormalities observed at the olfactory epithelium level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-725
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number8 I
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Anosmia
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery
  • MAP5
  • Olfactory mucosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Olfactory mucosal findings in patients with persistent anosmia after endoscopic sinus surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this