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The Taste and Smell Clinic

July 2021

Inflammation in Hyposmic Patients

Inflammation is a common event occurring in many disease processes including obesity, cardiac disease, gastrointestinal disorders and many other common disease processes. The role of inflammation in these processes is not always clear but usually present at some level.

We have been interested in inflammation in patients with hyposmia but the manifestation of this condition has not always been clear. In order to understand some aspects of inflammation in hyposmic patients we measured interleukin-10 (IL-10), a marker for inflammation, in nasal mucus and compared results in normal subjects with those in patients with hyposmia of several causes. Results indicated that IL-10 was over 17 times higher in nasal mucus in hyposmic patients than in normal subjects (1).

These results indicate that inflammation is a marker for hyposmic patients although its specific role is unclear. Since nasal mucus is the major fluid bathing the olfactory epithelium its role in this process may be part of the many complex functions which play a role either in initiating their hyposmia or as a result of some manifestation of their hyposmia.

See Hosein, Whitney, & Henkin, Robert I. Therapeutic Induction of Interleukin-10 By Theophylline Administration for the Treatment of Hyposmia. Online Journal of Otolaryngology and Rhinology. June 2021.