Zeitschrift für Kommunikationsstörungen, Gehörlosenstudien und Hörgeräte

Zeitschrift für Kommunikationsstörungen, Gehörlosenstudien und Hörgeräte
Offener Zugang

ISSN: 2375-4427


Taste Testing in a Pediatric Case of Congenital Aglossia

Franziska Valent, Long Wang, Betty McMicken, Cheryl Rock and Vivianna Goh

Objective: Congenital aglossia (CA) is a rare inborn condition characterized by absence of the tongue. This study aimed to determine gustatory function in a pediatric female participant with CA. Methods were developed based on previous taste discrimination research of a participant with isolated congenital aglossia (ICA) and anecdotal reports of individuals with CA possessing the ability to discern taste stimuli.

Methods: In this randomized, double-blinded trial, 78 samples were presented to an 11-year-old Hispanic female with CA in the presence of her parents. Triplicate samples of sucrose (sweet), citric acid (sour), sodium chloride (salty), caffeine (bitter) and monosodium glutamate (umami) solutions at five concentration levels each were tested, with three water samples. Contingency tables were developed with participant responses. Descriptive statistics were run to determine accuracy of stimuli identifications, with correct identification set at ≥ 66.6% accuracy (2 out of 3). Taste identification accuracy versus stimuli taste, concentration, and presentation order were tested for statistically significant association (p ≤ 0.05) using Chi-square testing.

Results: Out of five stimuli, the participant correctly identified sour and umami. Umami was accurately identified 100% of the time, and sour 66.6% of the time. Correct identification threshold criteria were not met for sweet, salty, and bitter samples. There was no statistically significant association between taste identification accuracy and particular taste, concentration levels, or presentation order. Bitter taste was commonly recorded as sour, and bitter as salty.

Conclusion: This study supports previous findings indicating that people with CA may accurately identify sour, though at a higher threshold than previously found in the ICA trial or in persons without CA. Compared to the previous trial, the participant in this trial could accurately identify umami. Higher discrimination thresholds of sour and umami, and misidentification of sweet, salty, and bitter stimuli, may indicate gustatory impairment among individuals with CA.