Home Health & Fitness A minimally invasive technique can help restore the sense of smell in patients with prolonged Covid: Study

A minimally invasive technique can help restore the sense of smell in patients with prolonged Covid: Study

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A minimally invasive technique can help restore the sense of smell in patients with prolonged Covid: Study

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According to research presented at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting, patients with chronic COVID may be able to restore their sense of smell with the use of an invasive image-guided procedure. One known condition associated with COVID-19 that affects smell is parosmia. (Also see | How scent can influence how we perceive color: Research)

While most patients eventually regain their sense of smell, some chronic COVID patients experience these symptoms months or even years after infection. (display)

Recent research indicates that the condition affects as many as 60% of COVID-19 patients. While most patients eventually regain their sense of smell, some chronic COVID patients suffer these symptoms months or even years after infection, which severely impairs their appetite and general quality of life.

Adam C. Zoga, MD, MBA, a distinguished professor in musculoskeletal radiology at Jefferson Health located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, emphasized the widespread acknowledgment of post-COVID parosmia as increasingly prevalent.

It’s possible for individuals to detest foods and beverages they once loved. Along with an altered perception of smell, a patient might have phantosmia, an illness in which that they view odors, either good or bad, that don’t exist in their immediate environment.

The potential advantages of CT-guided ganglion blockade were examined by researchers in order to assess possible therapies for patients with chronic post-COVID-19 disease. Stellate ganglia are a group of nerves on either side of the neck that are a component of the autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary functions like breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion. They send specific signals to the arms, upper chest, neck, and head.

To activate the local autonomic nervous system, the research team used a large ganglion block, which entails injecting a ganglion straight into the stellate ganglion on one side of the neck.

It takes less than ten minutes to complete the minimally invasive procedure, and no unconsciousness or intravenous analgesia is required. Raynaud’s and Meniere’s syndromes, angina, cardiac arrhythmia, cluster headaches, and phantom limb pain have all been treated with differing degrees of success using stellate ganglion block.

“Parosmia has been previously reported as a rare disease happening after brain trauma, brain surgery, stroke, viral illness, and neck and head tumors,” said Dr. Zoga.

Fifty-four patients, resistant to both topical and systemic medications, were referred for a study by an ear, nose, and throat specialist, seeking treatment for parosmia at least six months after the onset of their COVID-19 symptoms. Amidst our skepticism about the procedure’s effectiveness, we had little confidence in its ability to help these individuals.

A spinal needle was inserted into the star ganglion below the neck using a CT guide. Because they suspected that the COVID virus might cause inflammation of the nerves, the researchers introduced a small dose of corticosteroid to the anesthetic in the drug preparation.

Dr. Zoga observed, “The initial patients demonstrated rapid and sustained improvement, leading to the complete disappearance of symptoms within four weeks. We were pleasantly surprised by several findings, notably the near-complete resolution of phantosmia in some patients throughout the trial.”

Among the 37 patients available for follow-up, 22 individuals (59%) experienced improved symptoms within a week post-injection. By the one-month mark following the procedure, 18 out of these 22 patients (82%) reported significant development. On average, these 22 patients displayed a 49% enhancement in symptoms three months later, ranging from a 10% to a complete 100% improvement.

After at least six weeks, twenty-six patients came back for a second injection on the opposite side of their neck. 86% of patients who showed improvement following the first injection also showed improvement following the reverse injection, despite the fact that the second injection was ineffective in patients who did not respond to the first one. There’s no adverse events or problems have been reported. Since earlier therapies haven’t worked well thus far,” Dr. Zoga said.”This injection works.”