Development of an International Odor Identification Test for Children: The Universal Sniff Test

Valentin A. Schriever, Eduardo Agosin, Aytug Altundag, Hadas Avni, Helene Cao Van, Carlos Cornejo, Gonzalo de los Santos, Gad Fishman, Claudio Fragola, Marco Guarneros, Neelima Gupta, Robyn Hudson, Reda Kamel, Antti Knaapila, Iordanis Konstantinidis, Basile N. Landis, Maria Larsson, Johan N. Lundström, Alberto Macchi, Franklin Mariño-SánchezLenka Martinec Nováková, Eri Mori, Joaquim Mullol, Marie Nord, Valentina Parma, Carl Philpott, Evan J. Propst, Ahmed Rawan, Mari Sandell, Agnieszka Sorokowska, Piotr Sorokowski, Lisa Marie Sparing-Paschke, Carolin Stetzler, Claudia Valder, Jan Vodicka, Thomas Hummel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess olfactory function in children and to create and validate an odor identification test to diagnose olfactory dysfunction in children, which we called the Universal Sniff (U-Sniff) test. Study design: This is a multicenter study involving 19 countries. The U-Sniff test was developed in 3 phases including 1760 children age 5-7 years. Phase 1: identification of potentially recognizable odors; phase 2: selection of odorants for the odor identification test; and phase 3: evaluation of the test and acquisition of normative data. Test—retest reliability was evaluated in a subgroup of children (n = 27), and the test was validated using children with congenital anosmia (n = 14). Results: Twelve odors were familiar to children and, therefore, included in the U-Sniff test. Children scored a mean ± SD of 9.88 ± 1.80 points out of 12. Normative data was obtained and reported for each country. The U-Sniff test demonstrated a high test—retest reliability (r 27 = 0.83, P <.001) and enabled discrimination between normosmia and children with congenital anosmia with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 86%. Conclusions: The U-Sniff is a valid and reliable method of testing olfaction in children and can be used internationally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-272.e3
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funded by the Medizinische Fakultät Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden (MedDrive) and the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung (to V.S.); the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (DGAPA-UNAM) (to M.G.); the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (scientific grant Iuventus Plus # IP2014 043773 [to A.S.]); the Academy of Finland (to A.K. and M.S.); the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MEYS) of the Czech Republic under the NPU I program, the PROGRES program Q22 at the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University within the Institutional Support for Long-Term Development of Research Organizations from MEYS, and by the Czech Science Foundation (GA17-14534S) (to L.N.); the Deustche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG HU 411/181 [to T.H.]); the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA04011114 [to J.V.]); and the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (M14-0375:1 [to M.L. and M.N.]). The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.


  • Sniffin’ Sticks
  • children
  • olfaction
  • olfactory dysfunction
  • smell testing


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