Ultrastructural histopathology of human olfactory dysfunction.


This paper presents electron-microscopic observations on biopsies of the olfactory mucosae of several classes of patients with smell disorders: 1) patients with loss of smell function following head injury (post-traumatic anosmics or hyposmics); 2) patients with loss of smell function following severe head colds and/or sinus infections (post-viral olfactory dysfunction, or PVOD); and 3) patients that have lacked smell function since birth (congenital anosmics). Of these, the traumatic anosmics' olfactory epithelia were quite disorganized; the orderly arrangement of supporting cells, ciliated olfactory receptor neurons, microvillar cells, and basal cells was disrupted. Although many somata of ciliated olfactory receptors were present, few of their dendrites reached the epithelial surface. The few olfactory vesicles present usually lacked olfactory cilia. The post-viral anosmics, too, had a greatly reduced number of intact ciliated olfactory receptor neurons, and most of those present were aciliate. The post-viral hyposmics had a larger population of intact, ciliated olfactory receptor cells. In the seven cases of congenital anosmia studied, no biopsies of olfactory epithelium were obtained, indicating the olfactory epithelium is either absent--or greatly reduced in area--in these individuals.


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@article{Moran1992UltrastructuralHO, title={Ultrastructural histopathology of human olfactory dysfunction.}, author={David T. Moran and Bruce W Jafek and Peter Mu {\`E}ller and J. C. Rowley}, journal={Microscopy research and technique}, year={1992}, volume={23 2}, pages={103-10} }