New treatment helps to restore sense of smell in patients with long Covid: Study
Illinois [US], November 20 (ANI): Researchers may be able to restore the sense of smell in people who have suffered from long-COVID via an image-guided minimally invasive approach, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
COVID-19 is known to cause parosmia, a disease in which the sense of smell no longer works properly.
"Post-COVID parosmia is common and increasingly recognized," said the study's lead author, Adam C. Zoga, M.D., M.B.A., professor of musculoskeletal radiology at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. "Patients can develop a distaste for foods and drinks they used to enjoy."
To assess a possible treatment for patients with long-term post-COVID parosmia, researchers looked at the potential benefits of CT-guided stellate ganglion block. Part of the autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary processes including heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and digestion, the stellate ganglia are nerves on each side of the neck. They deliver certain signals to the head, neck, arms and a portion of the upper chest.
For the study, 54 patients were referred from an ear, nose and throat specialist after at least six months of post-COVID parosmia that was resistant to pharmaceutical and topical therapies.
CT guidance was used to position a spinal needle at the base of the neck for injection into the stellate ganglion. The researchers added a small dose of corticosteroid to the anesthetic in the pharmacologic preparation, suspecting that the COVID virus may be causing nerve inflammation.
Follow-up was obtained for 37 patients (65%), with 22 (59%) of the 37 reporting improved symptoms at one week post-injection. Of these 22, 18 (82%) reported significant progressive improvement by one month post-procedure. At three months, there was a mean 49% improvement in symptoms (range 10% to 100%) among the 22 patients.
"Other treatments have failed to date," Dr. Zoga said. "This injection is working." (ANI)
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