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Gustatory changes in patients with chronic otitis media, before and after middle-ear surgery

  • C-C Huang (a1), C-D Lin (a1), C-Y Wang (a1), J-H Chen (a2), Y-T Shiao (a2) and M-H Tsai (a1)...



We investigated gustatory changes in patients with chronic otitis media, before and after middle-ear surgery.


This prospective study included 38 patients with unilateral chronic otitis media. We used taste testing solutions to evaluate each patient's taste function. Intra-operative assessments of the chorda tympani nerve were also compared and analysed.


Patients with chronic otitis media had significantly worse ipsilateral perception of sour, bitter and salty tastes. In patients with good intra-operative preservation of the chorda tympani nerve, there was significant improvement in gustatory function one month post-operatively, compared with the pre-operative baseline. In patients who sustained intra-operative chorda tympani nerve injury, one month post-operative gustatory function was the same as the pre-operative baseline.


Middle-ear surgery for chronic otitis media not only treats the ear but also improves gustatory function in the majority of patients. In patients with intra-operative injury to the chorda tympani nerve, post-operative taste decline is only temporary.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Chia-Der Lin, Department of Otolaryngology, China Medical University Hospital, 2 Yuh-Der Road, Taichung City, Taiwan 40447 Fax: +886 4 2205 2121 E-mail:


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Gustatory changes in patients with chronic otitis media, before and after middle-ear surgery

  • C-C Huang (a1), C-D Lin (a1), C-Y Wang (a1), J-H Chen (a2), Y-T Shiao (a2) and M-H Tsai (a1)...


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