What is the role of the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) in the diagnosis of taste and smell disorders?

Updated: Dec 11, 2018
  • Author: Eric H Holbrook, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

The UPSIT involves 40 microencapsulated odors in a scratch-and-sniff format, with 4 response alternatives accompanying each odor. The patient takes the test alone, with instructions to guess if not able to identify the item.

Anosmic patients tend to score at or near chance (10/40 correct). The scores are compared against sex- and age-related norms, and the results are analyzed. This test has excellent test-retest reliability.

A chart is available relating scores to varying patient populations, including patients with multiple sclerosis, with Korsakoff syndrome, and those feigning anosmia. Those in the latter group tend to score much lower on the test than expected by chance.


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