J Neurol 2019 Aug 3;266(8):1897-1906. Epub 2019 May 3.
Preventive Neurology Unit, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, EC1M 6BQ, UK.
Background: Hyposmia can develop with age and in neurodegenerative conditions, including Parkinson's disease (PD). The University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) is a 40-item smell test widely used for assessing hyposmia. However, in a number of situations, such as identifying hyposmic individuals in large populations, shorter tests are preferable.
Methods: We assessed the ability of shorter UPSIT subsets to detect hyposmia in 891 healthy participants from the PREDICT-PD study. Shorter subsets included Versions A and B of the 4-item Pocket Smell Test (PST) and 12-item Brief Smell Identification Test (BSIT). Using a data-driven approach, we evaluated screening performances of 23,231,378 combinations of 1-7 smell items from the full UPSIT to derive "winning" subsets, and validated findings separately in another 191 healthy individuals. We then compared discriminatory UPSIT smells between PREDICT-PD participants and 40 PD patients, and assessed the performance of "winning" subsets containing discriminatory smells in PD patients.
Results: PST Versions A and B achieved sensitivity/specificity of 76.8%/64.9% and 86.6%/45.9%, respectively, while BSIT Versions A and B achieved 83.1%/79.5% and 96.5%/51.8%. From the data-driven analysis, 2 "winning" 7-item subsets surpassed the screening performance of 12-item BSITs (validation sensitivity/specificity of 88.2%/85.4% and 100%/53.5%), while a "winning" 4-item subset had higher sensitivity than PST-A, -B, and even BSIT-A (validation sensitivity 91.2%). Interestingly, several discriminatory smells featured within "winning" subsets, and demonstrated high-screening performances for identifying hyposmic PD patients.
Conclusion: Using abbreviated smell tests could provide a cost-effective means of large-scale hyposmia screening, allowing more targeted UPSIT administration in general and PD-related settings.