Evaluation of the olfactory bulb volume and morphology in patients with coronavirus disease 2019: can differences create predisposition to anosmia?
Objective: This study aimed to investigate whether the volume and morphology of the olfactory bulb are effective in the occurrence of anosmia in patients after COVID-19 infection.
Methods: The olfactory bulbus volume was calculated by examining the brain magnetic resonance imaging of cases with positive (+) COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction test with and without anosmia. Evaluated magnetic resonance imaging images were the scans of patients before they were infected with COVID-19. The olfactory bulbus and olfactory nerve morphology of these patients were examined. The brain magnetic resonance imaging of 59 patients with anosmia and 64 controls without anosmia was evaluated. The olfactory bulb volumes of both groups were calculated. The olfactory bulb morphology and olfactory nerve types were examined and compared between the two groups.
Results: The left and right olfactory bulb volumes were calculated for the anosmia group and control group as 47.8±15/49.3±14.3 and 50.5±9.9/50.9±9.6, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups. When the olfactory bulb morphology was compared between the two groups, it was observed that types D and R were dominant in the anosmia group (p<0.05). Concerning olfactory nerve morphology, type N was significantly more common in the control group (p<0.05).
Conclusions: According to our results, the olfactory bulb volume does not affect the development of anosmia after COVID-19. However, it is striking that the bulb morphology significantly differs between the patients with and without anosmia. It is clear that the evaluation of COVID-19-associated smell disorders requires studies with a larger number of patients and a clinicoradiological approach.