Cardiac Question #23


The nurse is caring for a patient is admitted with a diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy. Assessment includes analysis of which laboratory results that would be used to prioritize assessment findings?


  1. Electrolyte panel, specifically sodium levels
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  2. Kidney function panel, specifically GFR, Serum Creatinine, and BUN
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  3. Liver function panel, specifically AST, ALT, and bilirubin
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  4. White blood cell panel, specifically lymphocytes
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The cardiac sodium channel is important in the cardiac excitability and conduction system. In dilated cardiomyopathy dilation of the cardiac chambers and congested failure may occur. This is because cardiomyopahty is a disorder of the heart muscle that causes abnormal myocardial performance and is not usually the result of disease. Excess sodium will affect the heart since it cannot pump enough blood out to the body resulting in decreased cardiac output. Edema, pulmonary crackles, and irregular heart rate may occur, and treatment may include use of diuretics and sodium restricted diet. Types of cardiomyopathy include dilated, hypertrophic, and restrictive. Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common form. Kidney and liver function may eventually be affected; however, neither are diagnostic for initial diagnoses. Having kidney or liver disease as may have a negative impact since they would be considered serious co-morbidities.

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