Title: De Gustibus: time scale of loss and recovery of tastes caused by radiotherapy
Authors: Maes, Annelies ×
Huygh, Ingrid
Weltens, Caroline
Vandevelde, Guy
Delaere, Pierre
Evers, Georges
Van den Bogaert, Walter #
Issue Date: Jun-2002
Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Series Title: Radiotherapy and Oncology vol:63 issue:2 pages:195-201
Abstract: PURPOSE: To quantify the prevalence and distress of taste loss at different intervals after radiotherapy (RT) for head and neck cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In four different groups of head and neck cancer patients (73 patients in total), taste loss and distress due to taste loss were evaluated by taste acuity tests and taste questionnaires. Group 1 (n=17) was analyzed prior to RT. Groups 2 (n=17), 3 (n=17) and 4 (n=22) were at 2, 6 and 12-24 months after treatment, respectively. A cross-sectional analysis was performed between these four groups. RESULTS: Prior to initiation of RT (group 1), partial taste loss was observed in 35, 18 and 6% of patients for bitter, salt and sweet, respectively. At 2 months after RT (group 2), taste loss (partial or total) was seen in 88, 82, 76 and 53% for bitter, salt, sweet and sour, respectively. At 6 months (group 3), partial taste loss was seen in 71, 65, 41 and 41% (bitter, salt, sweet, sour) and after 1-2 years (group 4) in 41, 50, 27 and 27% (bitter, salt, sweet, sour). Distress caused by taste loss was most frequent in group 2 (82%). CONCLUSIONS: In this study, loss of taste after RT was found to be most pronounced after 2 months. Bitter and salt qualities were most impaired. Gradual recovery was seen during the first year after treatment. Partial taste loss still persisted 1-2 years after treatment and was responsible for slight to moderate discomfort.
ISSN: 0167-8140
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Research Group Experimental Oto-rhino-laryngology
Academic Centre for Nursing and Midwifery
Laboratory of Experimental Radiotherapy
Laboratory of Experimental Transplantation
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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