Taste function after section of chorda tympani nerve in middle ear surgery.

To investigate prospectively the clinical manifestations and the functional recovery of taste after section of chorda tympani nerve (CTN) during middle ear surgery, the subjective and objective study on the patients was performed.
Thirty-five patients underwent surgery with unilateral (n=32) or bilateral (n=3) section of CTN between January 2000 and April 2002. The patients were asked about taste symptoms before surgery and 2 weeks and 2 years after surgery. The CTN function was also measured with electrogustometry (EGM) at the same time points.
In unilateral section of CTN, 19/32 (59.4%) complained of taste disorder and 11/32 (34.4%) tongue numbness. Most of these taste symptoms disappeared within 2 years although the EGM threshold did not recover. 16/17 patients (94.1%) who used to cook everyday had little difficulty in flavoring dishes. In bilateral section of CTN, the patients had no problem of taste at 2 years after surgery, either.
These findings help explain the potential complications to the patients before surgery, although the number of cases was small in this series.
AuthorsTomomi Nin, Masafumi Sakagami, Mieko Sone-Okunaka, Toshihiko Muto, Yasuo Mishiro, Keijiro Fukazawa
JournalAuris, nasus, larynx (Auris Nasus Larynx) Vol. 33 Issue 1 Pg. 13-7 (Mar 2006) ISSN: 0385-8146 [Print] Netherlands
PMID16171963 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Cholesteatoma, Middle Ear (surgery)
  • Chorda Tympani Nerve (surgery)
  • Ear, Middle (surgery)
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypesthesia (etiology)
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Otitis Media (surgery)
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recovery of Function
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taste Disorders (etiology)
  • Tongue (innervation)

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