Effect of platinum-containing chemotherapy on olfactory, gustatory, and hearing function in ovarian cancer patients

Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 04/12/2012

Patients must be informed about transient declines in chemosensory functions during chemotherapy. Symptomatic relief provided by the use of more spices, a small amount of glutamate, or additional flavouring might help to compensate for decreased functions during chemotherapy and increase patient quality of life.


  • Twelve ovarian cancer patients undergoing carboplatinum–containing chemotherapy were assessed using validated tests for olfactory, gustatory, and hearing functions before, during, immediately after, and 3 months after chemotherapy.


  • All chemosensory functions decreased during and after carboplatinum–containing chemotherapy, but recovered 3 months after treatment ended.
  • For olfaction, this decrease was significant, affecting odour identification minimally, and odour threshold the most.
  • For taste, the decrease was not significant, but could be observed in total scores and in each quality (sweet, sour, salty, and bitter).
  • For hearing, the decrease was not significant, but a recovery of the deep and middle frequencies was clearly evident 3 months after chemotherapy.

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