Development of a Korean culture-friendly olfactory function test and optimization of a diagnostic cutoff value

Jong Gyun Ha, Jinwon Kim, Jae Sung Nam, Jeong Jin Park, Hyung Ju Cho, Joo Heon Yoon, Chang Hoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. Cultural familiarity and safety must be considered when assessing olfactory ability. The YSK olfactory function (YOF) test is a new olfactory function test using culturally familiar odorants to Koreans. Methods. The YOF test comprises three subtests for threshold (T), discrimination (D), and identification (I). The identification test included eight universal and four Korean culture-friendly odorants, which were selected considering eight major functional groups. Data were obtained from 1,127 subjects over 19 years old. Subjects were classified as hav-ing normosmia (n=542), hyposmia (n=472), and anosmia (n=113) by self-reported olfactory function. The YOF test and the Korean version of the Sniffin’ stick test (KVSS-II) were performed on the same day in random order. Diagnostic cutoffs for anosmia and hyposmia were calculated using the Youden index (J). Results. The mean values for each T/D/I subtest and the total TDI score were as follows: normosmia (T, 4.6±2.3; D, 8.6± 2.1; I, 11.1±1.7; TDI score, 24.2±4.5); hyposmia (T, 3.3±2.2; D, 7.1±2.5; I, 9.2±3.1; TDI score, 19.5±6.4); and anosmia (T, 1.7±1.2; D, 5.1±2.5; I, 5.0±3.2; TDI score, 11.8±5.6). The correlation coefficients between the YOF test and KVSS-II were 0.57, 0.65, 0.80, and 0.86 for T, D, I, and the TDI score, respectively (P<0.001). The diagnostic cutoffs were a TDI score ≤14.5 (J=0.67) for anosmia and 14.5<TDI score ≤21.0 (J=0.38) for hyposmia. The diagnostic efficacy of the YOF test (area under the curve [AUC], 0.88) was equivalent to that of the KVSS-II (AUC, 0.88; P=0.843; DeLong method). Conclusion. The YOF test is a new olfactory test using safe and Korean culture-friendly odorants. It showed equivalent validity with the conventional olfactory function test. Furthermore, the YOF test provides information on the major functional groups of odorants, potentially enabling a more comprehensive interpretation for patients with olfactory disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-284
Number of pages11
JournalClinical and Experimental Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2016M3A9D5A01952414).This work was also supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (No. 2016R1A5A2008630).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by Korean Society of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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