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The Taste and Smell Clinic

September 2021

The Best Method to Measure Smell Function in Patients with Hyposmia

While there are several tests available to measure smell function the best method uses the so-called Henkin test. With this test a complete analysis of smell function can be measured quickly and quantified.

The test measures several aspects of smell function. It utilizes four odors which are used to measure smell detection (by use of detection thresholds), smell recognition (by means of recognition thresholds), smell receptor number (by sensory magnitude estimation), and brain function (by means of hedonics).

Each of these methods results in quantitative results which relate to loss of smell function and can be useful to monitor treatment to measure improvement in smell function. Results of these tests far exceed results of any other test technique since it produces specific quantitative information in all aspects of the components of smell function which comprise the ability to smell in humans. For details, see attached reference.


See Henkin RI, Levy LM, Fordyce A. Taste and smell function in chronic disease: A review of clinical and biochemical evaluation of taste and smell dysfunction in over 5000 patients at The Taste and Smell Clinic in Washington, DC. Am J Otolaryngol. 2013;34:477-489