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MeSH D000857

Dysosmia, also known as olfactory dysfunction, can be defined as the impairment of olfactory stimuli processing.[1] These dysfunctions can present in a variety of ways, such as the stimuli not activating the olfactory bulb, some odors being interpreted as other odors, or hallucinations of smells. These subsets are called Anosmia, Parosmia, and Phantosmia, respectively. Anosmia and hyposmia (a less severe form of anosmia with a decreased sensitivity to smell but not the complete lack of it) are more quantitative disabilities typified by degrees in which the odor is sensed. Parosmia and phantosmia are more qualitative disabilities that are denoted by the impromptu introduction of odors without the proper stimulus. [2][3 ]



Anosmia is characterized by the inability to detect odors. This particular dysfunction can be acute or chronic, and can also by odor specific. The several different types of anosmia suggest several different causes for the symptoms. While anosmia can occur due to a physical obstruction or infection, it can also be attributed to neurological damage. Acute anosmia tends to be associated with a blockage or infection; specific types of neurological damage are more closely associated with chronic anosmia. There are also cases of people born without the ability to detect odors; they are called anosmics.


Parosmia, or troposmia, is defined by patients incorrectly identifying odors, often mistaking pleasant or neutral odors for unpleasant ones. In order to effectively diagnose parosmia, as well as related diseases such as anosmia, diagnostic tool kits or “Sniffin’ Sticks” can be used to gauge a graded stimulus and measure the response of the patient. One example of parosmia involved using a peppermint “Sniffin’ Stick” by placing it in front of a patient’s nose, then the patient reporting a foul or rotten smell.[4] As with anosmia, some cases of parosmia seemed to be odor specific, whereas other parosmias were more general and several smells were misinterpreted.


Phantosmia is very similar to parosmia in that both usually result in unpleasant odors in the absence of the corresponding stimulus. Their difference derives from that parosmia is triggered by other odors; phantosmia is seemingly random. Phantosmia’s etymology is relatively straightforward, a phantom odor; it can be thought of as essentially an olfactory hallucination. The diagnostic tool kits that can be used to measure anosmia, parosmia, and hyposmia are inadequate to measure phantosmia because there is no stimulus in this case.[5]


  1. ^ Koo, FS; AK Arya, AC Swift (2007-May). "Smell disorders and dysosmia" (PDF). BRITISH JOURNAL OF HOSPITAL MEDICINE 68 (5): 234-6.  
  2. ^ "Smell and Taste Disorders: Brain, Spinal Cord, and Nerve Disorders: Merck Manual Home Edition".  
  3. ^ "Dorlands Medical Dictionary:dysosmia".  
  4. ^ Franselli, J; B.N. Landis, S. Heilmann, B. Hauswald, K.B. Huttenbrink, J.S. Lacroix, D.A. Leopold, T. Hummel (2004). "Clinical presentation of qualitative olfactory dysfunction" (PDF). Eur Arch Otohinolaryngol 261: 411-5.  
  5. ^ Franselli, J; B.N. Landis, S. Heilmann, B. Hauswald, K.B. Huttenbrink, J.S. Lacroix, D.A. Leopold, T. Hummel (2004). "Clinical presentation of qualitative olfactory dysfunction" (PDF). Eur Arch Otohinolaryngol 261: 411-5.  


Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Passiflora subg. Dysosmia article)

From Wikispecies


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Malpighiales
Familia: Passifloraceae
Genus: Passiflora
Subgenus: Passiflora subg. Dysosmia
Species: P. chrysophylla - P. foetida


Passiflora subg. Dysosmia (DC.) Killip, 1938.

Typus: P. hibiscifolia Lam. = P. foetida


  • Passiflora sect. Dysosmia DC., Mém. Soc. Phys. Genève 1: 436. 1822.
  • Dysosmia (DC.) M.Roem., Fam. Nat. Syn. Monogr. 2: 149. 1846.
  • Passiflora sect. Dysosmia (DC.) Benth. & Hook., Gen. PI. 1: 810. 1862.
  • Passiflora subgen. Plectostemma sect. Dysosmia Mast., Trans. Linn. Soc. 27: 631. 1871.
  • Tripsilina Raf. Fl. Tellur. 4: 103. 1838.


  • Killip, E.P. 1938. The American Species of Passifloraceae. Publication Field Museum of Natural History – Botanical Series 19:30 (1-613).
  • Yockteng, R. & Nadota, S. 2004. Phylogenetic relationships among Passiflora species based on the glutamine synthetase nuclear gene expressed in chloroplast (ncpGS). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 31 (1): 379-396.

Vernacular names


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