Electrogustometry is a clinical instrument for diagnosis and assessment of taste function in a variety of conditions. It offers rapid and reliable administered method of taste testing (threshold and suprathreshold), especially in patients who are psychologically and physically strained (e.g., patients with radiation therapy or chemotherapy). It has been used extensively as a clinical tool in the assessment of taste function in patients with cancer, diabetes, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy and as a diagnostic aid in disorders such as trigeminal nerve disease, cerebellopontine tumors, Bell’s Palsy and facial paralysis due to suprageniculate lesions.
Automated and computer controlled, electrogustometry has been shown to simplify the use of adaptive psychophysical procedures and ensure that the necessary changes in stimulus levels are calculated and delivered rapidly and accurately, without bias on the part of the tester. It is quantitative and has been shown to give highly reproducible results.
The electrogustometry is performed with electrogustometer which contains a programmable two-channel, bidirectional, voltage-control constant current supply with output currents in the range 0-500 A, in 1-A steps. A PC controls all its functions. Anodal stimulation is delivered via a pair of stainless steel tongue electrodes located on flexible arms on either side of a height-adjustable chin rest. Each electrode has a flat 5-mm diameter contact area. An indifferent electrode consisting of a 43 mm x 58-mm silver plate is held to the ventral side of the wrist by an elastic strap. Electrogel is applied between the indifferent electrode and the skin to facilitate conductance.
Threshold estimates are obtained from the four quadrants of the tongue (right and left front and right and left rear sides of the tongue and the two sides of the soft palate).