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Prospective study evaluating olfactometric and rhinomanometric outcomes in postmenopausal women on 1 mg 17β-estradiol and 2 mg drospirenone HT

Caruso, Salvatore MD1,2; Serra, Agostino MD3; Grillo, Calogero MD3; De Leo, Vincenzo MD4; Maiolino, Luigi MD3; Agnello, Carmela MD2; Cianci, Antonio MD1

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31816be973

Objective: To evaluate the effects of drospirenone on the olfactory sensitivity in postmenopausal women treated with hormone therapy (HT).

Design: Forty-seven naturally postmenopausal women participated in the prospective study. The women underwent continuous combined HT containing 1 mg 17β-estradiol and 2 mg drospirenone (DRSP). Airflow resistance values and olfactometric thresholds were measured by using rhinomanomety and olfactometry, respectively, performed at baseline and in the third and sixth cycle of HT.

Results: Rhinomanometric values were better during 17β-estradiol/DRSP HT with respect to those observed at baseline (P < 0.001). Olfactometric threshold data indicated a higher sensitivity during both the third (P < 0.05), and sixth cycles of 17β-estradiol/DRSP HT (P < 0.001) than at baseline.

Conclusions: Our study confirmed that the nasal airflow resistance and olfactory thresholds to odors may depend on steroid hormones. We believe that estrogens could influence neuronal plasticity and the neuronal conduction time in the olfactory system. The antimineralocorticoid activity of DRSP may produce a decrease in nasal edema, inducing a better interaction between odorous substances with receptors.

Hormone therapy containing drospirenone improves olfactomeric thresholds. By rhinomanometry, drospirenone seems to be able to reduce the edema of the nasal mucosa.

From the 1Department of Microbiological Science and Gynecological Science, 2Research Group for Sexology, Section of the Department of Gynecological Science, 3Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy; and 4Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

Received December 15, 2007; revised and accepted February 4, 2008.

Financial disclosure: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Salvatore Caruso, MD, Ospedale S. Bambino, Via Torre del Vescovo, 95124 Catania, Italy. E-mail:

©2008The North American Menopause Society